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.

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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.

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)


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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.

WOODHULL… State Representative Dan Swanson (R-Alpha) issued the following statement following Governor Rauner’s State of the State Address on Wednesday.

“I agree with the Governor and others who say we cannot tax and borrow our way to prosperity.  We need tax policy reform, property tax reform and public-employee pension reform.  In addition to facing these sobering challenges ahead, I am thankful the Governor also highlighted successes in criminal justice reform (Kewanee Re-Entry Center is a big part of that) as well as celebrating bipartisan education funding reform which puts the focus on needs and not zip codes,” said Rep. Dan Swanson.  “I felt the Governor did a good job of recognizing the successes achieved together as well as the hard work that remains in addressing the critical and challenging position our State is in during this year of our 200th Bicentennial celebration,” Swanson continued.


The Governor’s State of the State speech marked the second session day for the Illinois House in 2018.  Governor Rauner is scheduled to deliver his Annual Budget Address on Wednesday, February 14th.

Rep. Dan Swanson was honored to greet the Goalball teams from the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired in Jacksonville. The girls team took first and the boys took second in the 2017 NCASB Goalball Championships. It was an honor to have both teams in the Illinois House on January 30th.

Governor Bruce Rauner will deliver his Annual State of the State Address on January 31 at Noon.  Tune in live by clicking here.



Learn more about House Bill 4212 here.


State Representative Dan Swanson and State Senator Chuck Weaver with the family of Trooper Chad Wolf (left- Kyle and Karen Wolf) and family of Deputy Sheriff Adam Streicher (Right- Laurie and Al Streicher) at the Overpass Designation Dedication of the Illinois Route 78 overpass at Interstate 80 on January 17, 2017. Deputy Streicher was 23 years old when he was fatally shot in an altercation in Toulon on March 22, 2002 as he was attempting to serve a warrant. Michigan State Trooper Chad Wolf, 38, died in August 2015 while on duty patrolling in Michigan when he sustained fatal injuries after his motorcycle became entrapped under a utility trailer when it was struck by a vehicle switching lanes. Both were graduates of Annawan High School. 30 law enforcement officers have graduated from Annawan High School and three have been killed in the line of duty. The legislators were joined by officers of Henry County, the Illinois State Police, surrounding counties, and troopers from Michigan as they dedicated the overpass at Exit 33 on Interstate 80 in honor of these fallen officers.