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State Representative Dan Swanson issued the following statement following Governor Pritzker’s Budget Address on Wednesday.

“I appreciate that the Governor described his perspective as “bold optimism”,” said Rep. Swanson.  “However, I am very concerned about his comments about changing Illinois’s Constitution to create a Progressive Income Tax scheme.  I understand moving this direction is the only possible way he can pay for the $1.121 billion in new spending this year and the mushrooming spending to follow further into Pritzker’s administration, but Illinoisans are sick of kicking the can down the road without addressing the real cost-drivers of our out-of-control state spending,” Swanson continued.

“To accomplish some of the new revenue to support this out-of-balance budget Governor Pritzker is relying on major policy changes to include legalizing recreational cannabis, enact sports betting and adding a $.05 cent excise tax on plastic bags.  I didn’t hear any discussion about growing the economy through job opportunities and growth.  We can’t continue to tax and burden the hard-working people of Illinois.  The reality is fewer and fewer Illinoisans are being asked to pay for more and more,” Swanson concluded.

State Representative Dan Swanson (R-Alpha) issued the following statement following today’s vote to increase the minimum wage in Illinois to $15/hour by 2025:
“I’m thinking of the small-business groups who potentially are going to have to lay off people if they’re going to keep their business open.  Indeed, of more than 500 Central Illinois businesses surveyed, 51% of businesses responded they are likely to layoff employees, 71% of companies replied they would raise prices to cover the cost, 63% report they will reduce hours, and disturbingly, 17% of businesses surveyed would consider closing ,” said Rep. Dan Swanson before casting a NO vote on Senate Bill 1 while citing information compiled by the Central Illinois Regional Chamber Legislative Effort (CIRCLE), which surveyed over 550 businesses in Central Illinois.

The House of Representatives of the new 101st General Assembly is comprised of 74 Democrats and 44 Republicans.  Senate Bill 1 passed the Illinois House on a vote of 69-47.

State Representative Dan Swanson announced he has been appointed to key Illinois House committees dealing with issues of public safety, education, Veterans Affairs, mental health and Agriculture.

“I am honored to represent my district and our state on these committees, as these are topics that I feel very passionate about,” said Swanson on Monday.  “I know that there will be much work ahead as we move into the 101st General Assembly, but I am thankful to be able to contribute further on these critical issues.”

Rep. Swanson was appointed to the Public Safety Appropriations Committee, Elementary & Secondary Education; School Curriculum & Policy Committee, Mental Health Committee, Veterans Affairs Committee and the Agriculture & Conservation Committee.

“A new committee assignment for me is the Mental Health Committee.  I look forward to serving on this committee to bring awareness to the needs of mental health services and care in rural communities across our state,” said Swanson.

Swanson was also proud to again be appointed to the House Agriculture & Conservation Committee.  “There are many difficult issues confronting our agricultural economy in Illinois.  Having legislators with first-hand knowledge of operating a small business like our family farm will be important as we move forward as a State.  I look forward to that work and applying my common-sense and agricultural knowledge gleaned over generations,” continued Swanson.

State Representative Dan Swanson (R-Alpha) was honored by the Northern Illinois Alliance of Fire Protection Districts (NIAFPD) with their Legislator of the Year Award at their annual ceremony on Saturday, January 26, 2019.

“I am humbled to be honored by these hard-working fire protection professionals.  I share in this award with the all of our outstanding fire fighters who are focused on saving lives and property as well as improving training, programming, and collaboration for fire fighters in Illinois,” said Swanson.

Swanson was awarded the recognition for his work to ensure that fire departments have the necessary resources to protect and serve their local communities.

The Northern Illinois Alliance of Fire Protection Districts (NIAFPD) works to foster the exchange of ideas and information among and between Alliance members as well as encouraging and promoting the advancement of common interests of Fire Protection Districts and developing a regional resource bank of information available to members.

State Representative Dan Swanson voted NO on House Rules proposed by Speaker Madigan on Tuesday.

“We are supposed to be a representative democracy, where all Illinois residents from every district are represented with equal voice.  Unfortunately, that has not been the case in the Illinois House and continues to not be the case under the new House Rules,” said Swanson.

Under House Rules, the all-powerful House Rules Committee has the ability to sideline any proposal not supported by Speaker Madigan and his legislative majority.  Public Posting requirements are lax or non-existent and there are no limits on the amount of terms a legislative leader may serve.

“What we see reflected in the House Rules is a system in which Speaker Madigan and his stalwart supporters exercise total control over not only the debate, but which issues are debated,” Swanson continued.  “It’s past time to break the Speaker’s stranglehold on power and instead, give power back to the people of Illinois and their duly elected representatives.”

In a counter-proposal supported by Rep. Swanson, public review and notification would be required for legislative business and all bills with bipartisan support would be required to have an up or down committee vote.  As one might have come to expect in Illinois, this counter-proposal was assigned the House Rules Committee, where it died and was not debated by the Illinois House.

The Madigan-supported House Rules passed with no Republican votes 73-42.  No Democrats joined Republicans in dissenting against Madigan’s Rules.

State Representatives Dan Swanson (R-Alpha) joined State Representatives Steve Reick (R-Woodstock), Jeff Keicher (R-Sycamore), Amy Grant (R-Wheaton) and Daniel Ugaste (R-Geneva) in urging lawmakers to authorize a private sector “deep dive” into state agency spending so that opportunities for cost savings and greater efficiencies can be identified.

“Rooting out waste, fraud and abuse needs to be more than a catch-phrase in Springfield,” said Reick, Chief Sponsor of HJR06 and HB275. “Everyone acknowledges that inefficiencies plague our state government, and it’s time for us to actually do something about it. I applaud our new Governor for taking executive action requiring agencies to examine their spending; it’s a great start in trying to regain the trust of the people of Illinois. I offer these bills as a sign of good faith. These bills are a bipartisan attempt to help him with the task of providing optimal government services in this state as efficiently as possible.”

Reick’s HJR06 and HB275 are modeled after President Ronald Reagan’s 1982 executive order calling for a private sector study on cost control, which resulted in the 1984 ‘Grace Commission’ report. That audit led to 2,487 separate recommendations for streamlining government agencies in ways that would have saved hundreds of billions. “By identifying inefficiencies, redundancies and insufficient control over the operations of state agencies which result in inadequate services being provided at too high a cost, we can make adjustments and provide taxpayers with the value they deserve,” Reick said.

Chief Co-Sponsor Dan Swanson said that with the seating of a new administration, the timing is perfect for this type of audit. “The timing is right with a new Governor and newly appointed Directors to establish controls and hold State agencies accountable to gain efficiencies for Illinois’ taxpayers,” Swanson said. “A common practice in the military is for a new leader coming into their position to review the most current inspection reports to find deficiencies or areas of concern. This practice helped the leader establish priorities for building a cohesive organization,” said Swanson, a retired Lieutenant Colonel. “I ask Governor Pritzker to review the Auditor General's reports, as many are revealing a lack of controls and best practices. I encourage him to use the reports as a tool to make reforms and achieve cost savings and efficiencies for Illinois’ overburdened taxpayers.”

January 23, 2019

Local State Rep. Dan Swanson happy to see more awareness with Lyme disease. It comes in the aftermath of successful passage of the “Lauryn Russell Lyme Disease Prevention & Protection Law”—named after a Mercer County Jr. High student. Swanson along with Lauryn and her mother Jennifer Russell led a discussion on the legislation last fall on WRMJ. Following that conversation, a recent Mercer County grad who had been battling sickness, decided to get tested for Lyme disease and the results came back positive. Swanson says getting the word out about this health issue is vitally important and that’s part of the motivation for the measure.

The “Lauryn Russell Lyme Disease Prevention & Protection Law” allows physicians to prescribe more aggressive treatment options.

Listen to the interview here.