From WGIL Radio: Swanson Pushing Legislation to Test for Spinal Muscular Atrophy

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.”

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