Representative Dan Swanson’s January 26 Capitol News Update


  • Rules filed for firearm registration law
  • House Republicans renew call for ethics reform
  • University of Illinois tuition freeze
  • Around the district

Rules filed for firearm registration law

The controversial gun ban law which I voted against last year covers a significant number of firearms and ammunition widely-owned in Illinois. It requires any Illinoisan who owns one of these items to register them, along with the owner’s name and address, with the State Police. This new requirement is seen by many gun-owners as a possible threat to overall firearm ownership and possession. Last week, the State Police submitted their proposed rule to a panel of Illinois lawmakers, the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules (JCAR).

Republicans on JCAR offered a motion to block the new rule, but unanimous Democrat opposition blocked the motion. This action cleared the way for the new rule to take effect.

Court challenges to the new law remain active. The question is likely to ultimately be settled by the U.S. Supreme Court, which will be asked to rule on whether or not the law is a violation of the Second Amendment. Thus far many Illinoisans seem to be awaiting the outcome of the court challenges before registering their firearms, as registration numbers have been quite low.

House Republicans renew call for ethics reform

With the spring session getting started, House Republicans have renewed the call for ethics reform in Springfield. Illinois has seen too many public officials entangled in corruption for too many years. We must act to reform our ethics laws now.

The House Republican ethics reform package includes several different bills to address the different scandals which have hit state government in recent years. House Bill 4286 institutes a three-year revolving door ban on legislators becoming lobbyists. House Bill 4289 expands the definition of “officials” in the current law to include more local government positions and also expands the legal definition of “lobbyist.” House Bill 1277 would suspend benefit or annuity payments to a member or participant in a retirement system or pension fund if that person is charged with a felony.

These are just a few of the ethics reform proposals we need to act on this spring. To read more, click here.

University of Illinois freezes tuition for 2024-25 school year

All three campuses of the University of Illinois system (Urbana, Chicago and Springfield) will freeze undergraduate tuition for the upcoming academic year. It is the first time in over 25 years that the U of I system has issued a system-wide tuition freeze.

Currently, in-state undergraduate tuition is $12,712 per year at Urbana, $11,178 at Chicago and $321.50 per credit hour at Springfield. Other state universities, such as Western and ISU, are not part of the U of I system and set their own tuition rates. Students in the U of I system will continue to pay rising costs for other expenses like housing.

Around the District

Even with the cold weather it is a busy time around the 71st District!

On Friday we attended the Knox County Pork Producers’ annual meeting. Congratulations to Keith Erickson on receiving the 2024 Pork Hall of Fame award!

Friday night was also a preview of the dinosaur exhibit at Discovery Depot. It was a fun display for all ages. Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible for our community. It takes a lot of financial support and determination to attract exhibits like this, so I hope everyone will get out and enjoy it!

I started off a cold Saturday morning with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration breakfast in Galesburg, which had been postponed from MLK Day last Monday. There were good speakers, good music and good food.

Also Saturday I stopped by the Macomb VFW Post 1921 to support Feeding Forgottonia. I enjoyed a brisket and ordered a rack of ribs to eat at home during the playoff football game.

More news

Migrant influx to Illinois being felt in downstate communities

Sheriff’s Association scholarship application is now available

Department on Aging accepting nominations for Senior Hall of Fame

University partnerships to combat Illinois food insecurity amid rising aid demand

Illinois Governor’s Mansion announces Illinois art tours