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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.


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.

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“I'm honored to serve on the Water Management Task Force and pleased the governor continues to move forward and investigate ways to improve water safety at the Quincy Veterans’Home.  We must provide a safe and healthy environment for our American heroes.”
Rep. Dan Swanson (R-Alpha)

A new Quincy Veterans’ Home Water Management Task Force will meet next week to review a plumbing assessment report that were released today, Gov. Bruce Rauner said.

The governor created the task force after living at the home for a week in January.

“The task force will take a comprehensive look at the water system and offer recommendations on how we can achieve our goal of eliminating every possible risk of Legionnaires’ disease,” Rauner said. “The task force will augment the efforts of the working group at the Quincy Veterans’ Home that routinely updates its water management plan and reviews treatment protocols to improve safety.”

Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) Director Erica Jeffries will lead the task force comprised of federal, state and local officials including state Sen. Jil Tracy, R-Quincy, Sen. Bill Haine, D-Alton, Rep. Ann Williams, D-Chicago, and Rep. Daniel Swanson, R-Alpha.

The plumbing assessment covers the main water loop at the Illinois Veterans’ Home at Quincy and explores next steps ranging from replacement and shadow systems to completely new water sources and use of alternate chemical disinfectants. BRiC Partnership LLC, an Illinois-based engineering firm experienced in health facility plumbing systems, conducted the assessment, which was finalized Monday, Feb. 5.

Rauner has asked the task force to review feasibility options for new construction and for building on remediation efforts already under way.

The latest efforts include:
  • Replacing all 63 resident room faucets in the Elmore building at a cost of $14,000.
  • Fitting new Elmore building faucets with point-of-use filters and changing them every 31 days to trap Legionella and other bacteria before they flow into the water stream. Cost is $4,200 a month.
  • Installing laminar flow nozzles on all faucets on the campus to enhance routine anti-bacterial sink flushing at a total cost of approximately $900.
  • Performing urine antigen tests (UATs) in 24 hours or less at the Illinois Department of Public Health to detect Legionellosis infection.
  • Performing UATs at Blessing Hospital in Quincy with turnaround in just a few hours once they are online.