Representative Dan Swanson’s April 19 Capitol News Update


  • House passes highway safety legislation
  • Six months later, SAFE-T Act has made Illinois less safe
  • The Coolest Thing Made in Illinois
  • Speaking to 6th graders about Illinois government

House passes highway safety legislation

A bill I sponsored to better educate drivers about the state’s “Move Over” highway safety law passed the House unanimously on Tuesday afternoon.

Illinois law requires drivers to move over and slow down when they see a vehicle on the side of the road with its emergency lights activated, a statute known as “Scott’s Law.” My bill, House Bill 4711, provides that if an applicant for an Illinois driver’s license gives an incorrect response to the written test question regarding Scott’s Law, the Secretary of State shall provide that applicant with information concerning the law so that the applicant will be more aware of its requirements.

I’m glad the House has joined in taking this important step toward making Illinois motorists more aware of what to do when they see a vehicle stopped on the roadside. We have seen far too many crashes, injuries and even deaths that could have been prevented with a little more knowledge.

Earlier this month, Lucy Kuelper, a junior at ROWVA High School in Knox County, testified in support of the legislation before the House Transportation: Vehicles and Safety Committee. Kuelper, the daughter of an Illinois state trooper, founded the Move Over Project five years ago to spread awareness of the importance of slowing down and moving over to keep first responders safe on roadsides.

The bill passed the House 112-0 and now goes to the Senate for further consideration.

Six months later, SAFE-T Act has made Illinois less safe

In January 2021 I voted against a bill called the SAFE-T Act which was rushed through the House and Senate in the closing hours of session. It was an overhaul which included cashless bail and other changes to our criminal justice system. Law enforcement and public safety professionals raised numerous objections, but they were largely ignored. The law was challenged in the courts, but eventually allowed to go into effect last fall. Now we are six months into the SAFE-T Act, and the results show that it has made Illinois less safe.

With the end of cash bail now in place, we are hearing more and more stories of offenders committing crimes, being let out of jail and then committing more crimes. Illinoisans need to know that when someone commits a crime they will be held accountable, not released back out onto the street in a matter of hours.

Here are a few of the headlines you may have missed from the first six months of the SAFE-T Act.

House Republicans have proposed solutions to the problems caused by the SAFE-T Act. You can read more about our ideas here.

Coolest Thing Made in Illinois

The winner of this year’s Illinois Manufacturers’ Association’s Maker’s Madness contest to determine the Coolest Thing Made in Illinois is a Komatsu mining truck, which is made in Peoria.

The truck, which is about 26 feet tall and has tires which weigh over a thousand pounds, boasts a lift capacity ranging from 30 to 400 tons with customized fittings. The truck is mainly used in heavy road construction projects and open-air mining. While it is made in Illinois, it is used all over the world. For example, quite a few of these trucks are at work in iron mining in the rugged deserts of Western Australia.

The winner was selected through an online competition in which more than 300,000 votes were cast. Over 200 different Illinois-made products were initially a part of the competition. Other finalists included Mullen’s Imitation French dressing which is made in Palestine, Illinois, the MQ-25 Stingray drone made by Boeing in Mascoutah, Illinois, and the Mod Box by Enviro Buildings insulated outdoor building made by Craig Industries in Quincy, Illinois.

Speaking to 6th graders about Illinois government

I recently spoke with Mrs. Walker’s four classes of 6th graders at Orion Middle School as they started the students’ unit on Illinois state government.

I always enjoy this annual event. Afterwards I received a special Thank You note from each of the students. The students were very attentive and asked some great questions.

Thank you to Mrs. Walker for the invitation and to the students for being such a great audience!

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State treasurer: Illinois has $5B in unclaimed property. Here’s how you can find yours

Illinois youth turkey hunters enjoy record harvest of more than 2000 birds