Representative Dan Swanson’s May 31 Capitol News Update


  • Opposing tax increase and spending spree
  • Speaking up for developmentally disabled workers
  • Free Veteran/Senior Fair coming up June 12 in Galesburg
  • Remembering our heroes on Memorial Day

Opposing tax increase and spending spree

I voted No on a taxing and spending proposal which was brought before the House in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

The Democrats’ Fiscal Year 2025 state budget spends $2.6 billion more than last year’s budget and raises taxes by $1 billion to cover the costs. It funds a cost-of-living pay increase for legislators. The budget includes almost four times as much funding for non-citizens as it does for services to Illinois veterans.

The final draft of the 3389-page budget was made public over the Memorial Day weekend and voted on in the middle of the night. It is the largest spending bill in Illinois history, eclipsing the previous record, set last year.

House Republicans argued for tax relief, holding the line on spending, fighting waste and mismanagement, stronger ethics laws and improving public safety, but we were shut out of the discussions and the development of the budget. Democrats, in an extremely rare course of action, held three votes and waived the House rules in order to force a tax increase on the people of Illinois.

Continuing to raise taxes and increase spending in an endless cycle is terrible policy and is completely unsustainable. Since 2020 the state budget has ballooned from near $40 billion to now over $53 billion. We are long past the point where we have to stand strong for the taxpayers of Illinois and say “Enough!” We cannot continue on this path of expecting taxpayers to pay for these annual spending sprees.

Speaking up for developmentally disabled workers

During the final week of session the House passed a bill, HB 793, which threatens the jobs of developmentally disabled workers around the state. A federal program from the Franklin Roosevelt administration created certificates which allow employers to hire intellectually and developmentally disabled individuals at wages below the federal minimum wage and set up workshops to provide them with support. The program provides job opportunities and allows service providers to offer efficient services to disabled individuals.

But this bill would change all that. It would mandate a large wage increase, but provide no financial assistance to employers, which will lead to many of their jobs being eliminated, and the workers being pushed into unemployment. I spoke against this bill, but it still passed.

I have heard from concerned parents and families of some of those who hold these jobs. In our district a local business in a small town pays $359,000 per year to provide developmentally disabled workers a job making painters’ palettes. They work about 24 hours per week. The wage increase mandated by this bill would quickly burn through those funds and cause the jobs to be eliminated. This facility is not the only one in this situation.

Concerned parents have asked me, “what am I going to do when I no longer have somewhere to bring my son or daughter because they no longer have a job?” It’s a difficult question to answer. I brought it up in debate but could not get an answer from the bill’s sponsor. In the small town where this facility is located, there just aren’t that many businesses able to give disabled workers the training and attention they need.

My question is: how do these businesses look a parent in the eye and say, I’m sorry, but your family member is no longer employed here? If this mandate is forced upon them, I’m afraid we are going to find out. Fortunately the Senate did not advance this bill before going home for the summer.

Free Veteran/Senior Fair coming up June 12 in Galesburg

I am joining with Seminary Village in Galesburg to host a FREE Veteran/Senior Fair on Wednesday June 12 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at the Galesburg Knights of Columbus, located at 1556 E. Fremont Street.

We will have free health screenings on site, as well as a number of vendors with helpful information about programs and services available to local veterans and seniors. This year we have added an electronics recycling event. Anyone with old computers, phones or other electronic equipment that needs to be disposed of can come by and drop it off for free recycling. Complimentary refreshments and the opportunity to register for a door prize will be available as well.

Please contact my office with any questions.

Remembering our heroes on Memorial Day

“Always Remember, Never Forget!” It was a beautiful day for Galesburg’s Memorial Day parade. They had a large crowd and a lot of participants.

The Galesburg 7th through 12th grade band sounded fantastic. It was nice to greet so many friends along the route. Congratulations Galesburg and thank you for honoring our Fallen Heroes.

You may not know them by name but remember their ultimate sacrifice and selfless service.

It was also nice to see what a great job the Colona Memorial Day Committee did. They had a large crowd and many participants to make for a fun parade. The weather was just perfect.

Thank you to all who turned out to remember our Fallen Heroes, to all those who serve and all their loved ones back home.

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