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State Representative Dan Swanson (R-Alpha) teamed up with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office in crafting legislation which passed the Illinois House on Friday which allows high school seniors to wear their military uniforms at their graduation ceremonies, if they are otherwise in good standing with his or her branch of the military.

“No student in good standing, who has completed boot camp, should be denied the privilege of wearing their dress blues at their High School Commencement Ceremony,” said Rep. Dan Swanson, Chief Sponsor of House Bill 5561. “I am proud to stand up for these young warriors who are standing up for our freedom through their military service.”

Current law allows local school boards to adopt a school uniform or dress code policy for graduation ceremonies and does not preclude a local board from prohibiting military dress uniforms. Several cases across the country have presented, banning students from wearing their military dress uniforms at graduation ceremonies. Currently, California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New Hampshire have laws on the books protecting students who have completed military boot camp in wearing their dress blues to graduation.

Closer to home, a student from McHenry West High School in McHenry County, in Northeastern Illinois, was barred from wearing a dress military uniform because of local school board rules. This was among several stories that prompted this legislative initiative and push for a change.

“We should all be proud of these young adults’ service and simply feel that they should be allowed to display their uniform at this momentous occasion in their lives,” said Swanson.
State Representative Dan Swanson hosted Cambridge resident Sierra Brown as an Honorary Page in the Illinois House during House Committee Deadline week on Tuesday, April 10th. 

Sierra is a Senior at Cambridge Junior/Senior High School where she is President of the Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCLA) Chapter, FFA Historian, active in Leadership, Ethics & Values (LEV) and Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FAC), serves on the Student Council, Cheer, Student Mentor. Additionally, Sierra is in her church praise band, dance, pageant director and she created “A Hand to Hold” through her church for community service and volunteerism. At Cambridge High School, Sierra is on the High Honor Roll while taking dual-credit courses with the Western Illinois University Honors Program as well as the Black Hawk College Honors Program. Sierra was recognized as 2017 Miss Blackhawk Valley Outstanding Teen and is an intern with the Village of Cambridge.

“Sierra is an exceptional young woman I am honored to host as an Honorary Page in the Illinois House,” said Rep. Swanson. “Sierra was able to witness a critical part of the legislative process in action during committee deadline week. Sierra shows exceptional community leadership skills and is strongly active in her faith community. My colleagues in the House were impressed to get to know Sierra and felt she was a fine example of her community.”

Rep. Dan Swanson is serving his first term in the Illinois House of Representatives, this after serving over 27 years in the Illinois Army National Guard and with the United States Army, culminating with the rank of Lt. Colonel.

He also helps attend to a fifth-generation family farm and works with "Homegrown by Heroes," whose mission it is to serve veterans. Our guest today is 74th District State Representative Dan Swanson.

Listen to the full podcast here.

WOODHULL… As a military veteran Rep. Dan Swanson (R-Alpha) brings a unique perspective to Springfield. He understands better than most that many of the brave women and men who honorably served their country now find themselves in need of our help. He gets that honor and other circumstances sometimes prevent veterans from asking for assistance. And he is alarmed by the staggering number of veterans who turn to suicide as a solution. Rep. Swanson also knows from his advocacy that proactivity is the best way to get resources in the hands of veterans. So, he is taking action.

On Wednesday, Rep. Swanson passed House Bill 4212 in the Illinois House, providing a mechanism for law enforcement to immediately respond to a missing veteran. Under Swanson’s bill law enforcement can issue a Silver Alert for a missing veteran. Like an Amber alert, the public will be notified in an effort to quickly locate a missing veteran and perhaps save a life.

“Veteran suicide is a major public health issue.  Over 20 Veterans commit suicide each day.  I’ve had family friends and acquaintances among them.  This legislation amends the Missing Persons Identification Act to add veterans and active duty members suffering a physical or mental health condition in an attempt to reduce suicide rate,” said Rep. Dan Swanson.  “If we can save one brother or sister-in-arms who needs a helping hand with healing from the battle back home, we should.  They put their lives on the line for us and our freedom and deserve our outstretched hands when they are endangered.”

House Bill 4212 enjoyed the support of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Illinois Department of Military Affairs, Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and Mental Health America of Illinois.  Under Rep. Swanson’s sponsorship, HB 4212 passed 107-0 and will now go to the Illinois State Senate for consideration.

If you are a veteran in crisis or are concerned about one please reach out to the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.

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From WGIL Radio, February 7, 2018

Last week the Illinois General Assembly was presented a piece of legislation that many committee members ended up co-sponsoring. 

74th District State Representative Dan Swanson in conjunction with 97th District Representative Mark Batinick along with nearly a dozen other House sponsors pushed for a health-related bill that according to Swanson, “will have a great impact on our families.” 

House Bill 4241 amends the Newborn Metabolic Screening Act and requires the Department of Public Health to provide all newborns and infants within 12 months of birth with screening tests for the presence of spinal muscular atrophy. 

“What it will do is add another test at childbirth for Spinal Muscular Atrophy,” Swanson told WGIL. “Basically, the connections to the brain to the legs is lost through transmission in the spinal chord. Through treatment and medication we can rebuild that communication between the brain and the legs; and we can begin to see improvements.” 

The issue was brought to Swanson’s attention when the daughter of Tracy and Randy Parlier of Galesburg was born with muscle impairment. The Parliers spoke during veto session and testified before a senate committee in the fall. House Bill 4241 passed through committee and will go to the House floor, according to Swanson in “the next couple of weeks.”
WOODHULL… State Representative Dan Swanson (R-Alpha) issued the following statement following Governor Rauner’s Budget Address on Wednesday.


“I agree with Governor Rauner in his call for making tax spenders accountable to taxpayers,” said Rep. Dan Swanson.  “Two of the ways he described continuing accountable to taxpayers included the Governor renewing his commitment to Kewanee Life Skills Re-Entry Center as well as stating a strong commitment for $50 million in Capital expenditures to help Quincy Veterans Home with continued upgrades to combat Legionella within the facility.  I am pleased with the Governor’s commitment to both facilities and would stress that we must remain diligent to ensure the safety and security for all residents at Quincy and a continued commitment to improving our criminal justice system through facilities like Kewanee,” Swanson continued.