State Representative Dan Swanson announced on Tuesday that the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) has signed off on Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) release of $11.3 million statewide for community college capital projects in the first round of this funding to be released in this fiscal year.

The release includes $237,460 to Black Hawk College for roof replacement and $11,400 to Carl Sandburg College for roof replacement, an emergency exit ramp for the Library and floor replacement dur to flooding in 2013.

“These are emergency type of projects for these two campuses,” said Rep. Dan Swanson.  “These life safety improvements may not come with big ribbon cuttings, but they are critical to the safety of students and employees.”

Black Hawk College will be putting up $209,640 in local funds to complete the project and Carl Sandburg College will be putting up $38,135 in local funds.

“Infrastructure investment is a catalyst for job creation and economic development,” said Gov. Bruce Rauner. “We signed a bipartisan budget in June that includes funds for improvement projects that benefit local businesses and residents. This kind of investment is how government can play a positive role in the Illinois economy.” 
From OSF Healthcare Newsroom
September 7, 2018
Full story at:

Newborns To Be Screened For Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Tracy Parlier never thought medical equipment would replace a kitchen table in her modest ranch home in Galesburg. She never thought she would be on a first-name basis with a state legislator. And Parlier never thought her boss, OSF HealthCare St. Mary Medical Center President Jennifer Junis, would take multiple plunges into a dunk tank to support her.

All of those realities came to pass when Parlier, a lab assistant at OSF St. Mary Medical Center in Galesburg, found herself questioning her then-infant daughter Lily’s inability to sit up at five months. Lily was born prematurely and had other health complications, so it took 11 months before she was diagnosed with type II spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in June of 2016. The disease is a form of muscular dystrophy and it’s the number one genetic cause of death for infants. The disease has affected Lily’s ability to walk so she needs a wheelchair. She has a machine to make her coughs more productive and she has trouble eating, so most of her nutrition is delivered via a port in her stomach, although she occasionally eats a little of her favorites – French fries and popcorn chicken.

Despite the devastating diagnosis, hope arrived at the beginning of the year when the federal government approved a drug called Spinraza, the first and only drug to date for treatment of SMA.The drug is administered by removing five milliliters of spinal fluid and injecting the same amount of the medication. Parlier says when administered early, even for babies with the most severe form of SMA, the drug can greatly improve quality of life and chance for survival.

In July, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar officially approved adding SMA to the official federal recommendations for newborn screening. But, individual states need to pass their own legislation to require the testing within the first 12 months of life. Tracy and Randy Parlier enlisted help from state Rep. Dan Swanson (R-Alpha) whom they connected with through a family friend. The Parliers traveled twice to Springfield to testify. Swanson says their testimony put a face on the disease and helped lawmakers understand the impact of early screening.  Read more here.

Farmers, crop haulers won’t have to wait to more successfully compete with neighboring states

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner today declared a harvest emergency to help level the playing field between Illinois farmers and crop haulers and those in neighboring states.

The action bridges the gap between the 2018 harvest season and a new law the governor signed Aug. 25 that takes effect next year. Going forward, that measure will allow for an annual harvest-season easing of gross vehicle and gross axle weight limits for agricultural commodities haulers with a free permit.

“We have heard from Illinois’ trucking industry and from farmers who are operating on thin profit margins in today’s agricultural climate,” Rauner said before making his announcement at the Ladage Farm in Auburn. “Today’s harvest emergency declaration recognizes that the weight-restriction structure in place in Illinois put our farmers and truckers at a disadvantage.

“They cannot and should not be forced to wait until the 2019 harvest season to reap the economic benefits of eased weight limits,” he said. “Now they won’t have to as they take their crops to market, processing or storage.”

The emergency declaration is in effect from Monday, Sept. 10, to Dec. 31, 2018, and enables crop haulers to seek free Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) permits to exceed legal maximum gross vehicle and gross axle weight limits or the vehicle’s registered gross weight, whichever is less, by no more than 10 percent on state and federal highways under IDOT’s jurisdiction, except interstates. (Federal requirements prohibit inclusion of interstates.)

“We appreciate Gov. Rauner declaring an emergency situation for the 2018 harvest season, especially in light of the declining incomes and market turmoil which farmers are currently facing,” said Richard Guebert Jr., president, Illinois Farm Bureau. “This declaration opens the door for increased efficiencies for farmers and truck drivers hauling agricultural commodities and will help offset any uncontrollable effects of weather and commodity markets, allowing farmers the freedom to move what is projected to be a record-breaking crop.”

Permits will once again be issued at no charge, but applicants must obtain a route authorization number every two weeks. The harvest emergency permit and other information on the permitting process can be obtained through IDOT’s automated permitting web application here.

Rauner said the declaration will speed the movement of crops to market, adding that the importance of an economically healthy agriculture community in Illinois cannot be overstated. Illinois is home to 71,000 farms on 26.6 million acres. Marketing of Illinois’ agricultural commodities generates more than $19 billion annually, and the state’s food and fiber industries employ nearly 1 million people. The state ranks third nationally in the export of agricultural commodities, with $8.2 billion worth of goods shipped to other countries, according to the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

Meanwhile, the neighboring states of Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin automatically ease highway weight limits at harvest time.

“Our farmers feed the world, working tirelessly every harvest season to get their crops from the field to market as quickly as possible,” said Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) Director Raymond Poe. “We need to give Illinois farm families every advantage we can to ensure they stay competitive with farmers in neighboring states. We thank Gov. Rauner for recognizing the need for a quick change to help our farmers this harvest season without waiting until the new law takes effect next year.”

Legislators also welcomed the declaration.

“Gov. Rauner and Director of Agriculture Poe are enabling farmers a smoother, more efficient harvesting season, given the weather,” said Rep. Avery Bourne, R-Raymond, who attended today’s ceremony. “I supported the governor last year with this announcement, and I stand with him today to ensure Illinois does its best to help this pillar of our economy — the agriculture industry.”

She was joined by Rep. Dave Severin, R-Benton.

“I applaud this decision to allow trucks hauling agricultural commodities to obtain a free permit to exceed the gross vehicle weight limit by 10 percent and help farmers harvest their crops more efficiently,” said Severin, a member of the Agriculture and Conservation Committee.

“I’m glad to see that our state is taking the steps necessary to assist our agricultural industry at a critical time of the year,” added Rep. Jerry Costello II, D-Smithton. “With livelihoods at stake, we need to responsibly remove barriers for our harvesters and ensure that their crop is brought to market. I am appreciative of the effort on both sides of the aisle to make this emergency order a reality.”

“I’m encouraged to see Gov. Rauner be proactive about an issue that has unfairly restricted our farmers and hindered our state’s ability to compete with our neighbors,” said Sen. Dale Fowler, R-Harrisburg. “This decision to declare a harvest emergency will serve as a bridge until House Bill 5749 takes effect next year, providing relief to those in the agriculture industry and providing some long-term assistance to Illinois’ farmers.”

“I support the harvest emergency declaration because our farmers need every opportunity they can get to get their crops out of their fields as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo. “A declaration such as this shows we value their hard work.”

“Giving farmers additional latitude to harvest crops this year will ease their burden and allow for commodities to get to the market quicker, which is good for all consumers,” said Sen. Neil Anderson, R-Andalusia. “Agriculture is the backbone of Illinois’ economy, so anytime we can support farmers and the agriculture industry, it’s a win for the entire state. I wish our farmers a safe and bountiful harvest.”

“Harvest season always comes with unexpected delays and unpredictable challenges,” said Sen. Jil Tracy, R-Quincy. “This declaration should pave the way for a smoother harvest season for the farmers who feed our world.”

“With this harvest emergency declaration, farmers have the ability to get more grain to the storage sites quicker. I appreciate Gov. Rauner’s action and IDOT for developing a user-friendly application process,” said Rep. Dan Swanson, R-Alpha, a fifth-generation family farmer and member of the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee.

“It’s that time of year when farmers have to harvest their crops with limited time,” said Rep. Charlie Meier, R-Okawville. “The governor’s declaration will be very helpful to farmers as it can be difficult to estimate the proper amount of bushels loaded on a semi. Without this declaration, if a semi is determined to be overloaded, the fine can actually be worth more than the crop itself. I’m glad the governor declared the harvest emergency in order to help Illinois’ No. 1 industry, agriculture.”

“Moving corn and other crops in a timely and efficient manner affects the bottom line of hard-working farmers,” said Rep. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro. “This declaration is an appropriate response to an urgent need and I applaud the governor for taking this action.”


A bill allowing Illinois to compete with neighboring states by again growing Industrial Hemp was signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner on Saturday.

Senate Bill 2298 was sponsored due to general declines in agricultural commodities in recent years.  Supportive groups, including the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, believe industrial hemp could help farmers supplement any losses they have incurred.

Industrial Hemp is a different plant variety than cannabis which is harvested to produce Marijuana.  Industrial Hemp growing was a staple industry in Illinois, and especially Central Illinois, several decades ago.  Under current federal law, states can enact industrial hemp laws if the plant is grown for purpose of study, and those growing the hemp be licensed by the State to do so.

“Kentucky has been very successful in growing hemp for the past three years,” said Rep. Swanson following the Governor signing SB 2298, which Swanson co-sponsored.  “This has brought additional revenue and business to the agricultural community and now occupies over 12,000 acres by 243 growers in the Commonwealth in 2018.  The return per acre is between $700-1,200/ acre.”

“This allows our agricultural community an additional, diversified crop and many other business opportunities throughout Illinois,” Swanson continued

74th District residents can learn more about legislation sponsored by Rep. Swanson during the Spring legislative session at his website at


A bill requiring the Illinois Department of Public Health provide all newborns with screening tests for the presence of spinal muscular atrophy was signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner on Tuesday in an important step to detect and treat the leading genetic cause of infant death.  SB 456 was signed into law as Public Act 100-864.

“Spinal muscular atrophy is a neuromuscular disease in which patients can lose the ability to walk, eat, and breathe,” said Rep. Dan Swanson (R-Alpha), Chief Co-Sponsor of the bill.  “SMA can be treated, but to be most effective it must be detected early.  Adding this screening to the newborn panel should help drive down this leading genetic cause of death for babies.”

“The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recently added spinal muscular atrophy to its list of recommended newborn screening,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav D. Shah.  “In light of this recent acceptance, as well as new therapeutic options for the disease, we look forward to implementing this test for newborns in Illinois.”

The bill, which amends the Newborn Metabolic Screening Act, will add the new screening test by 2020 to a panel of tests that now includes screening for a number of disorders, deficiencies, and diseases prevalent with newborns.  Newborn screenings began in Illinois in 1965.  Each year, more than 700 babies are diagnosed through newborn screening, according to the Department of Public Health.

Four states have adopted newborn screening for SMA, with Indiana passing legislation in early May.  Rep. Swanson brought local families with loved ones suffering from SMA to Springfield to testify in support of the bill during the Committee Hearings on SB 456 earlier this Spring.

Representative Swanson enjoys hosting a pizza party and recognition event for each of the Swanson Super Readers Club participants throughout his district.

Super Readers Party in Aledo

Super Readers Party in Princeton.

Super Readers Party in Galesburg. 

Super Readers Party in Kewanee.

As a military veteran Rep. Dan Swanson 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.

To that end, Rep. Swanson has been a champion of Veterans issues since taking office. On Sunday, Veterans & Gold Star Families Day at the Illinois State Fair, Governor Bruce Rauner held a ceremonial bill signing for several measures Swanson sponsored to assist those who serve us in the United States Military.

Included in the measures signed into law are:
  • House Bill 4212 provides a mechanism for law enforcement to immediately respond to a missing veteran or active duty service member. Under Swanson’s bill, law enforcement can issue a Silver Alert for a missing veteran or active duty service member. Like an Amber alert, the public will be notified in an effort to quickly locate the missing person and perhaps save a life. 
  • House Bill 4332 makes it easier for honorably discharged to receive the “Veteran” designation on their driver’s license by expanding the documentation acceptable to prove status. 
  • House Bill 4848 requires health care providers to provide one free copy of a patient’s medical records if the patient is an indigent homeless Veteran and the records are being requested for supporting a claim for federal Veterans’ disability benefits. 
  • House Bill 4849 ensures that the Illinois Department of Military Affairs is within full compliance of the Master Cooperative Construction Agreement and federal fiscal law as it pertains to distribution of funds for capital improvements and rehabilitation construction costs. 
“I am thankful for the Governor signing these important measures to assist our veterans and our military,” said Rep. Dan Swanson. “Those of us who served know how important this work is in ensuring those who served and those currently serving are cared for to the best of our abilities.”

With over 28,000 active duty military members based in Illinois and many more Veterans living in Illinois, Rep. Swanson is proud of working on behalf of this population.

Rep. Dan Swanson thanked the Governor on Friday for signing Senate Bill 2527, a measure Rep. Swanson sponsored in the Illinois House to remove the cap on the number of dual-credit courses in which Illinois students may participate.

“Local high school students in Knox County brought forth this idea after running up against caps on dual-credit courses,” said Rep. Dan Swanson.  “In a competitive global economy, Illinois students should not be limited in taking dual-credit courses, as long as the instructor is a qualified Illinois instructor.”

Senate Bill 2527 will increase access to dual-credit courses to Illinois students.  This change will allow students to get more of a head start on college, boost our community colleges, and reduce the overall cost of higher education for students. 

“These courses are an extremely effective, as well as cost-effective option for many students.  I am thankful that local students brought forward this idea and I was happy to serve as Chief Sponsor in the Illinois House after my Senator, Chuck Weaver, passed this legislation in the Senate.”

The Illinois Association of Gifted Children stood alongside local students in advocating for this change in current law.  The Illinois Community College Board is responsible for oversight and review of dual-credit programs.

Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 2527 on Friday, August 9th at Richwoods High School in Peoria.

Rep. Dan Swanson hosted a Veterans’ & Senior Resource Fair on Thursday in Princeton to provide local Veterans’ and Seniors an opportunity to interact face-to-face with state and local agencies available to assist them.

“As a Veteran, Veteran Advocate, and Legislator, I am honored to host these events to help Veterans and Seniors connect with local services, right here in their own community that can help improve their quality of life,” said Rep. Dan Swanson.  “I feel this is just one small way we can make sure they know about services and programs helpful to them.”

The Bureau County event was the fourth in a series of four events Rep. Swanson hosted this week throughout the 74th Legislative District.  Monday’s event was in Geneseo, Tuesday’s was in Aledo and Wednesday’s in Knoxville.  Bureau County’s event was hosted at the Bureau County Metro Center at 837 Park Avenue West in Princeton.  Dozens of attendees joined dozens of exhibitors representing state, local, and community agencies in providing information to Veterans and seniors in attendance.  A free lunch of Monical’s Pizza was hosted by Rep. Swanson at the Princeton event.  Bottled Water was donated by Sullivan’s Foods.


Rep. Dan Swanson hosted a Veterans’ & Senior Resource Fair on Wednesday in Knoxville to provide local Veterans’ and Seniors an opportunity to interact face-to-face with state and local agencies available to assist them.

The Knox County event was the third in a series of four events Rep. Swanson is hosting this week throughout the 74th Legislative District.  Monday’s event was in Geneseo, Tuesday’s was in Aledo and Thursday’s in Princeton.  Knox County’s event was hosted at the American Legion Post 749 at 749 Henderson Road in Knoxville.  Dozens of attendees joined dozens of exhibitors representing state, local, and community agencies in providing information to Veterans and seniors in attendance.  The Sons of the American Legion hosted a free lunch of hot dogs and chips at the Knoxville event.

“As a Veteran, Veteran Advocate, and Legislator, I am honored to host these events to help Veterans and Seniors connect with local services, right here in their own community that can help improve their quality of life,” said Rep. Dan Swanson.  “I feel this is just one small way we can make sure they know about services and programs helpful to them.”

Rep. Dan Swanson hosted a Veterans’ & Senior Resource Fair on Tuesday in Aledo to provide local Veterans’ and Seniors an opportunity to interact face-to-face with state and local agencies available to assist them.

The Mercer County event was the second in a series of four events Rep. Swanson is hosting this week throughout the 74th Legislative District.  Monday’s event was in Geneseo, while Wednesday’s is in Knoxville and Thursday’s in Princeton.  Mercer County’s event was hosted at the Mercer County VFW Post 1571 on Southwest Third Avenue.  Dozens of attendees joined dozens of exhibitors representing state, local, and community agencies in providing information to Veterans and seniors in attendance.  The VFW Auxiliary hosted a free lunch of hot dogs and chips at the Aledo event.

“As a Veteran, Veteran Advocate, and Legislator, I am honored to host these events to help Veterans connect with services, right here in their communities that can help improve their quality of life,” said Rep. Dan Swanson.  “We owe a great debt to these men and women and this is just one small way we can make sure they know about services and programs helpful to them.”


State Representative Dan Swanson announced today that the Kewanee Community Fire Protection District will receive $24,375.00 in a Small Equipment Grant for fire protection districts. The grant is being distributed through Illinois’ Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM).

The funds were awarded to Kewanee Community Fire Protection District for helmets, boots, and personal protective gear.

According to Swanson, more than 100 departments statewide are taking a share of $2.2 million in grant funds. “These grants provide much-needed funding to help our fire districts purchase or replace necessary equipment,” said Swanson. “The Kewanee Community Fire Protection District has been a good steward of taxpayer dollars and will put these funds to good use in protecting their community.”

The OSFM Small Equipment Grant Program was established to provide grants up to $26,000 for the purchase of small firefighting and ambulance equipment at fire departments and not-for-profit ambulance services across Illinois.

“This program provides an innovative approach to a problem that has long-caused difficulties for fire departments and ambulance service providers in our area,” Swanson said. “These hometown heroes often struggle to get funding for small equipment to keep them safe and to better serve their community, and this is where this Grant program helps to fill the gap.”

State Representative Dan Swanson (R-Alpha) announced he will again be hosting Veterans’/ Senior Resources Fairs in late July to help connect area residents with state, county, and local government agencies that may be of assistance to them.

“As a Veteran and Veteran advocate myself, I know it can be a sometimes daunting task to cut the red tape put in front of our returning heroes. Helping Veterans as well as our area seniors to be able to connect with a real, live person from important government and local agencies, face-to-face, is an important aspect to their getting the help and assistance they need,” said Swanson.

“Even if you don’t have a specific concern or are not a Veteran or Senior, these resources fairs may be helpful in finding out more information on services and programs in your community, that’s why I would invite any person interested to come out and join us at one of these exciting events,” Swanson continued.

The Veterans’/ Senior Resources Fairs will take place July 23-26 in Geneseo (Henry County), Aledo (Mercer County), Knoxville (Knox County) and Princeton (Bureau County).

Mon., July 23 4:00pm-6:00pm Geneseo Community Center, 541 E. North St., Geneseo
Tues., July 24 11:00am-1:00pm Aledo VFW, 106 SW Third Ave., Aledo
Wed., July 25 11:00am-1:00pm Knoxville Legion Post, 749 Henderson Rd., Knoxville
Thurs., July 26 11:00am-1:00pm Bureau County Metro Center, 837 Park Ave. West, Princeton

Admission to all four events is FREE and a meal will be provided. In addition to staff and booths representing local agencies and state agency staff, Rep. Dan Swanson’s Constituent Service staff will be available for consultation during the events. To sign up for a booth at the events as an exhibitor, please contact Rep. Swanson’s District Office at 309-334-7474.
From Rock Island Dispatch Argus
June 29, 2018
Read article here

WOODHULL — About 100 people joined Invenergy officials Friday to celebrate the completion of the Bishop Hill Wind Energy Center, Phase 3.

The event at the Woodhull Travel Plaza included the presentation by Invenergy of $5,000 checks to the Clover and Andover-Osco fire departments.

According to Invenergy, the 53-turbine project will create more than $10 million in benefits to local economies during its first 10 years through property taxes, lease payments to landowners and employees' wages and benefits.

Jim Shield with Invenergy said the project was 10 years "and a lot of people" in the making. He noted Invenergy now has been involved in 14 projects that have created 1,500 megawatts of energy serving 500,000 homes.

"I appreciate everyone's effort, time and support, because, without it, we wouldn't be here today," he said. "Safety is a core value around high-voltage equipment. We want to make sure everyone gets home every night in the same condition as when they left."

Woodhull Mayor David Holmes noted how much the use of wind has changed the area's physical and financial landscape. Historically, he noted, windmills could be seen throughout the area, next to or over the top of concrete water tanks for livestock.

"Now they (wind turbines) dot our countryside, and that's a good thing," he said. He said the area has had a "very friendly, very cordial" relationship with Invenergy.

State Rep. Daniel Swanson, R-Alpha, said Illinois contractors received $24 million from the wind farm project since Phase 3 construction began in August. At its peak, he said, the project supported 214 jobs. He said there would be five permanent jobs related to the work, adding Invenergy is dedicated to hiring veterans.

According to Swanson, each of the 53 turbines required the equivalent of one acre of concrete 4-inches thick. "That's a lot of wheelbarrows full,” he said.

Swanson said the assessed valuation of the 51 2.5-megawatt turbines is $366,000 each, while the valuation of the two 2.3-megawatt turbines is $336,720 each.

The total assessed valuation of Phase 3 is $19,080,000, bringing the total valuation of all three phases to $52.8 million, according to Henry County Supervisor of Assessments Lindi Kernan.

According to officials Friday, the Phase 3 turbines added $13 million, or 18 percent, to the total valuation of the Alwood School District. The district will see a little more than $1 million in new property taxes related to the turbines.

"This helps the schools have better control, because it's local dollars," said Swanson. He recalled an analogy by superintendent Shannon Bumann, asking how many school districts have had 53 $1 million homes built this past year.

State Representative Dan Swanson joined colleagues on both sides of the aisle, in both chambers, in voting YES on an FY 19 State Budget that is balanced and relies on “no new taxes”.

“This is a budget built on compromise.  It does not include everything we wanted, but funds many of our priorities and provides critical stability to State Government operations,” said Rep. Swanson.

The FY 19 State Budget includes first year costs to begin the process of constructing a new Quincy Veterans Home, creates funding for State Police for a 100-person cadet class, fully funds the new bipartisan K-12 education funding formula while reducing reliance on local property taxes, and includes more than $400 million for the Department of Corrections unpaid vendor bills from FY 17 and FY 18.

“The House Republicans pushed for three goals in this budget: a balanced budget, a full-year budget, and no tax increases.  I am pleased this was a bipartisan agreement that met those goals,” continued Rep. Swanson.

State Representative Dan Swanson (R-Alpha) hosted Galva High School student Cal Clucas as an Honorary Page in the Illinois House on Friday, May 25th.

Cal is a Sophomore at Galva High School where he is active on the Football, Basketball, Baseball, and Track Teams, Scholastic Bowl, and Drama Club.  Cal also participates in spin-club archery and trap shooting as part of 4-H, volunteers at his Church, and he helps with the local 5K race on the 4th of July.  Cal has been recognized by many of his teachers, the Dean of Students, and the Principal of Galva High School for his leadership, selflessness, and work ethic.

“Cal Clucas is an exceptional young man who I am honored to host as an Honorary Page in the Illinois House,” said Rep. Swanson.  “Cal is already a leader in his community and I am confident that he will make a great future leader.  He impressed many of my colleagues with his pleasant demeanor and work ethic while serving as an Honorary Page.”

State Representative Dan Swanson voted YES on House Bill 4290 on May 24 to release $63 million in back pay to state employees for money they earned under the contract negotiated with previous Governor Pat Quinn.

“Both as a matter of fundamental fairness and fiscal sanity, it is way past time we pay the State’s oldest unpaid bill,” commented Rep. Swanson following the vote. “It’s unfortunate that Illinois continues to pay for the indebted dishonest dealings of its previous Governors.”

In January 2011, then Governor Quinn and the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) struck a deal in which union state employees would give up half the value of their contractually mandated pay raises in exchange for a promise that Quinn would not lay off 2,600 workers or close any state facilities until July 2011. AFSCME also accepted furlough days and other concessions to save the state about $50 million.

However, in July 2011, Governor Quinn reneged on scheduled pay raises, and state workers have never received the money they earned. The passing of HB 4290 finally ensures state workers will be paid. HB 4290 will now move to the Senate for approval.

State Representative Dan Swanson announced the official launch of his Second Annual Summer Reading Club Program for 1st-5th grade students who live within the 74th Legislative District.  With the Illinois Bicentennial Celebration occurring throughout the year, Rep. Swanson’s theme this year for the program is “Celebrate 200 years of Reading in Illinois”.  The program is offered to encourage students to read over the summer and promote the lifelong benefits of literacy.

“This is a great way to encourage young people in our region to read over their summer breaks from school.  Students who do not read over the summer are much further behind, academically, than their classmates who continue reading during summer break,” said Swanson.

Brochures are available below or by calling Rep. Swanson's Woodhull District Office.  Participation in this program can overlap with any other summer reading program offered through area libraries.  Participating students have until August 1st to read their eight books and will be invited to a special party upon completion of the program.  Attendees of the party will also be given an opportunity to receive information on State and local programs.

Completed Forms may be submitted online here.

State Representative Dan Swanson hosted Geneseo High School student Grace Verbeck as an Honorary Page in the Illinois House on Tuesday, May 22nd.

Grace is a Senior at Geneseo High School where she is active on the Tennis team, Link Crew (helping freshman orientation), Foreign Language Club, Student Library Advisory Panel (SLAP), Crochet Club, and National Honors Society.  Grace will attend the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the Fall and plans to major in Molecular and Cellular Biology.  Her parents are Dennis Verbeck, a farmer and President of the Henry County Farm Bureau, and Jodi Verbeck, a teacher at Colona Elementary School.

“Grace is an exceptional young woman who I am honored to host as an Honorary Page in the Illinois House,” said Rep. Swanson.  “My colleagues were impressed that Grace would represent her community so well on the week of her High School Graduation. Grace shows exceptional promise in her studies and as a future community leader.”

State Representative Dan Swanson joined Governor Bruce Rauner in welcoming the announcement today that 25 Illinois elementary and middle schools have been awarded a three-year Bicentennial STEM Fusion Program, the Illinois Math and Science Academy’s (IMSA) renowned teacher development training initiative for math and science including Galva Junior/ Senior High School in the 74th District

“For Galva Junior/ Senior High School to be honored with this curriculum in recognition of the work they are doing is fantastic,” said Rep. Swanson.  “We need to prepare our students to compete on a global scale and this can only help them with best practice curriculum to achieve those goals.”

More than 100 schools applied for the 25 Fusion programs made available through the Bicentennial. The 25 schools selected serve predominately underserved populations who demonstrated a commitment to embedding IMSA Fusion into their curriculum and presented a sustainability plan to carry the program forward after the three-year award period expires. STEM training is considered critical to work in the future.  Seventy other qualifying schools will receive a one-year curriculum.

 “IMSA is pleased to be leading the charge to continually innovate K-12 STEM education, creating a strong and diverse talent base through turnkey STEM curricula and student enrichment through our flagship Fusion program,” commented Illinois Math and Science President Dr. Jose Torres.

The entire program was privately funded. Abbott and Wintrust Bank are the co-presenting sponsors.  Additional funding for this campaign was provided by Boeing, Ingredion, Motorola Solutions, Nicor Gas and Takeda.

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.

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.


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.

Click Here for Live Streaming Video.

“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.