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State Representative Dan Swanson heralded the creation of new “Opportunity Zones” in Illinois, with a zone created overlapping portions of the 74th District and the neighboring 73rd District in Northwest Bureau County, including communities of Sheffield, Mineral and part of Kewanee represented by Rep. Swanson.  An “Opportunity Zone” was also created in Southeast Galesburg in the neighboring 93rd District.

“These zones create an opportunity for private, tax-free investment in low-income areas with economic need.  This innovative program attempts to benefit residents in the zones as well as spurring private development and job creation,” said Rep. Swanson.

Governor Bruce Rauner announced 327 census tracts were submitted by the State of Illinois to the U.S. Treasury Department for consideration as Opportunity Zones.  The U.S. Treasury Department approved the recommendations, as permitted by the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.  1,305 qualifying low-income census tracts were available for selection, of which only 25% could be nominated by the Governor for inclusion in the program.  The zones cover more than 85 counties throughout the state and aim to support the future of Illinois through economic growth and investment.

“This is a really exciting opportunity for communities throughout Illinois,” said Governor Bruce Rauner.  “These zones include some of the most underserved areas of the state that have the greatest potential for improvement.  They represent a broad cross-section of Illinois that includes rural, urban, and suburban in-need communities that are ripe for investment and job creation.”

For more information on Opportunity Zones, please visit the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s (DCEO) website

from WGIL Radio, May 18, 2018

State Rep. Dan Swanson is pleased three bills he recently authored or co-sponsored have been approved almost unanimously by the Illinois Legislature, and now head to the Governor’s desk. We talked about that with Swanson, and about some other legislative issues, on Galesburg’s Evening News with Will Stevenson.

Listen to Audio here. 

Rep. Dan Swanson discusses firearm safety protocol with a Range Master from Springfield Armory (Geneseo) while hosting a 2nd Amendment Day for Illinois Legislators, Milan Rifle Club, August 8, 2017.

State Representative Dan Swanson joined Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz in urging Illinois firearm owners to file paperwork early to renew their Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) Cards as the first wave of the 10-year renewal will create a backlog of renewal applications.

“More than 50,000 FOID cards are due for renewal this summer because of changes to the FOID process in 2008.  I am urging my constituents who are FOID holders to renew as early as possible to allow adequate time for processing prior to expiration,” said Rep. Swanson on Wednesday.

Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz recommends, “gun owners get their renewal application in at least one to two months in advance so we have adequate time to process them and get a new card our before expiration.”

The Illinois State Police oversees the FOID card system and issues the cards that are required to buy or possess a firearm or ammunition in Illinois.  FOID card applications require state and federal background checks, as well as review of the database from the Illinois Department of Human Services to confirm applicants have not been in a mental institution in the past five years.  Persons with common names may find additional delays as identities are confirmed.
From Galesburg Register-Mail
May 7, 2018
By: Robert Connelly, Galesburg Register-Mail

KNOXVILLE — A dozen military veterans who reside at the Knox County Nursing Home were presented with gift bags Monday.

Elks Lodge Post 894 received a $1,500 anniversary grant — it is the 150th year for the local lodge — and decided to create personalized bags for the 12 veterans who live in the county-operated facility in Knoxville.

The bags included items specific to each person, but included flannel bed sheets, electric razors, food items, facial tissues and some even received a stand with a new birdhouse.

State Rep. Dan Swanson, R-Alpha, emceed the event and asked where every veteran in the room served. Swanson, a veteran himself, went on to thank each man personally for his service after the bags were handed out.

Jorja Thiel, the exalted ruler of the Galesburg Elks, said it was the first time they’ve been able to do this event and the same grant could be available next year as well. The Elks serve a variety of area towns, including Monmouth, whose Elks lodge closed, and put on a number of community events.

Among the dozen veterans given bags Monday, there was a mix of Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force.

One of those was Navy and World War II veteran Glenn Paulsgrove, who was found to be the oldest veteran in attendance. He said he helped transport troops to the Philippines during WWII.

Swanson presented him with a U.S. flag that had flown above the Capitol in Springfield and had a certificate of authenticity.

The event also included patriotic cupcakes, juice and some music, including “Over There.”

“It was all of you in here that were willing to put on the uniform and serve for us,” Swanson told the crowd.

Robert Connelly: (309) 343-7181, ext. 266;; @RConnelly_

State Representative Dan Swanson co-sponsored House Joint Resolution 124 to adopt a revenue estimate to begin the budgeting process for fiscal year 2019.

“All legislators pledge an oath to follow the US and State Constitution when sworn in to office.  Our State Constitution mandates the Illinois General Assembly set a revenue estimate to ensure state government doesn’t spend more than we anticipate bringing in,” said Rep. Swanson on Friday.  “It is no different then our own household budgets, where we look at our income and base a budget from there.”

House Joint Resolution 124 adopts a revenue estimate of $37.672 billion for fiscal year 2019, based on the estimate provided by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA).

A revenue estimate is required by state law:

The House and Senate by joint resolution shall adopt or modify such estimates as may be appropriate. The joint resolution shall constitute the General Assembly’s estimate, under paragraph B of Section 2 of Article VIII of the Constitution, of funds estimated to be available during the next fiscal year (25 ILCS 155/4(a))

It is also required by Subsection (b) of Section 2 of Article VIII of the Constitution of Illinois:

Appropriations for a fiscal year shall not exceed funds estimated by the General Assembly to be available during that year.

“I feel strongly that we need to take our Constitutional Mandate seriously. And adopt a revenue estimate as was done in 2011, the last time Speaker Madigan followed the Constitution on this issue,” Swanson continued.

Lauryn Russell with Rep. Dan Swanson on the House Floor when she served as an Honorary Page in the Illinois House in November 2017.

State Representative Dan Swanson (R-Alpha) passed the “Lauryn Russell Lyme Disease Prevention & Protection Law” through the Illinois House on Friday to allow physicians to prescribe more aggressive treatment for Lyme Disease without the fear of disciplinary action.

“After local families reported these problems to me with treatment of Lyme Disease, I felt compelled to act on behalf of my constituents,” said Rep. Swanson.  “The Russell’s family story is just one of many by those effected by Chronic Lyme Disease.”

The legislation was inspired by Lauryn Russell, a 12-year-old student from Mercer County, who has Lyme Disease and has had to seek treatment out of state due to potential disciplinary action that could be taken against her Illinois physician for treating Lauryn’s post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS) or Chronic Lyme Disease.  Advocates for Lyme Disease sufferers say the current recommended treatment of the disease, 10 to 21 days of antibiotics, is insufficient for people with advanced or chronic levels of the disease.  Nine states have enacted similar legislation including: Iowa, California, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Virginia.

State Representative Dan Swanson passed legislation through the Illinois House to allow indigent homeless veterans one free complete copy of their patient records if those records are being used in support of a claim for federal Veterans’ disability benefits.

“For Veterans applying for federal disability benefits, the cost of copies of their own medical files can be cost-prohibitive for Veterans of little to no means,” said Rep. Swanson.  “Hopefully, this bill will help remove one more barrier to those Veterans receiving benefits to which they are entitled and well-deserved.”

Swanson, a US Army and Illinois Army National Guard Veteran, served as Superintendent of the Henry County Veterans Assistance Commission providing financial aid and transportation services to Iowa City, Iowa Veterans Hospital for Henry County Veterans.  From December 1 2013 to November 30, 2014, 16 volunteer drivers drove over 47,000 miles, made 219 trips to Iowa City VA Center and transported 667 veterans for medical care.  In that role, Swanson also provided financial assistance to veterans to assist paying utility, rent and purchase food.      

House Bill 4848 passed unanimously in the Illinois House on April 20 and will now proceed to the Illinois Senate.  Proponents of the legislation included the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS), National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

Swanson also passed House Bill 4849 last week, a bill ensuring that the Illinois Department of Military Affairs (IDMA) is within full compliance with federal laws pertaining to distribution of funds for the purposes of capital improvements and rehabilitation construction costs.  HB 4849 also passed unanimously and is now in the Illinois Senate.