Rep. Swanson’s April 28 Capitol News Update


  • Local students were House pages for a day
  • Lyme disease bill passes committee
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month
  • More news

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Two local students were House “page for a day”

I was honored recently to have two local students join me in Springfield to each work as a House “page for a day.”

Abigail Struble, a 5th grader from Aledo, and Audrey Rodriguez, a 7th grader at Galesburg Junior-Senior High, each had the opportunity to spend the day at the Illinois Capitol, observing committees and floor sessions and getting to experience the daily hustle and bustle of the legislative session.

Audrey is the daughter of Emil and Courtney Rodriguez. She is the Vice President of the student council and is active in choir, volleyball and track. She also made the High Honor Roll and won the Martin Luther King essay contest. Audrey participates in tumbling and Relay For Life. She was an Illinois Principals Association winner and was first runner-up for Junior Miss Knox County. Audrey was accompanied to Springfield by her grandfather, Knox County Board member Greg “Chops” Bacon.

Abigail was joined at the Capitol by her parents, Aaron and Melissa. She is active in the Aledo First Baptist Church and says her favorite subjects are Bible and Math. Abigail participates in 4-H, softball and tumbling, and is a two-time United States Tumbling Association national qualifier. She is also the 2022 4-H state reserve champion in sewing.

I enjoyed having a pair of bright students from our district join me in Springfield. If you know of a student who would be interested in serving as a House page for a day, please contact my office.

Lyme disease innovation program bill passes committee

The House Agriculture and Conservation Committee this week passed legislation I am sponsoring to create a Lyme Disease Innovation Program to issue grants for maintaining a tick-borne pathogen surveillance program in Illinois. This program would help treat and prevent Lyme disease, which strikes Illinoisans every year.

Under the proposed program, the Department of Agriculture would work with the Department of Natural Resources and the University of Illinois’ Medical Entomology Program to identify and disease-test ticks, compile evidence and conduct research on tick bite prevention and the risk of tick and tick-borne pathogen exposure.

One of the best weapons we have against Lyme disease is education. This legislation helps us better educate the public in how to avoid the ticks which spread Lyme disease.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month

Last week I introduced a resolution which would declare August as Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month in Illinois.

This degenerative, genetic neurological condition prevents motor-control neurons from sending signals from the central nervous system to the body’s muscles that, in turn, causes the loss of muscle control and ultimately muscle wasting. It is a rare, genetic neuromuscular disease with which, it is estimated, one out of 11,000 babies in the United States are born.

Ongoing research offers the promise that a cure may one day be found. Increased awareness of spinal muscular atrophy will lead to increased knowledge and increased support both for disease research and for the families affected by the disease.

More news

One case of Legionnaires’ disease confirmed at Quincy Veterans Home

Nearly $1B in expected spending on health care for noncitizens adds to state budget pressures

University of Illinois research: Winter cover crops could reduce nitrogen in Illinois drainage water by 30%

Illinois after-school programs at risk because of state error

Monmouth College President to retire at end of 2023-24 school year