Representative Dan Swanson’s June 14 Capitol News Update


  • Governor signs record spending spree into law
  • Life-saving AED devices to be required in schools
  • Bad tick season likely ahead
  • Illinois VFW Representative of the Year

Governor signs record spending spree into law

Governor Pritzker has signed the largest-ever spending bill in Illinois history into law.

The $53.1 billion spending spree passed the House at around 2 a.m. on the final day of session. It required around $1 billion in tax increases to fund, and it spends almost four times as much on undocumented immigrants as it does on services for Illinois veterans. I voted No, along with every other Republican.

With the signing of this bill, the state budget has exploded from $40 billion just four years ago to over $53 billion today. This year alone the budget increased spending by $2.6 billion compared to last year. Pay raises for politicians have become a regular occurrence, while taxes and costs on Illinoisans have continued to rise.

These spending increases are not sustainable. We have to stand strong for taxpayers and say “Enough!”

Life-saving AED devices to be required in all schools

Several years ago Illinois enacted a law requiring Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to be accessible in many public places, including schools. AEDs can rapidly diagnose and treat life-threatening heart conditions in an emergency. But the law inadvertently omitted some important venues in which an AED might be useful in saving a life. This spring we passed legislation to correct this oversight.

Senate Bill 3571, which was supported by the American Heart Association, makes changes to the School Code to require at least one AED be present in each school attendance center. The AED must be accessible not only during the school day, but also during school-sponsored extracurricular activities which are held on school grounds.

I was proud to join in the unanimous vote to pass this legislation through the House and onto the Governor.

Bad tick season likely ahead

Ticks are small but dangerous insects which lurk in tall grass and wooded areas and spread disease with their bites. Lyme disease is probably the most well-known of these illnesses, but it is far from the only one. Now some experts are warning that Illinois may be in for an especially bad summer season for ticks.

With the milder spring this year, Maureen Murray, the assistant director of the Urban Wildlife Institute at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo says we could see more tick activity. “Fewer ticks die during the winter, and ticks can be active sooner in the spring, just because it warms up faster.”

The Department of Public Health (IDPH) says Illinois has more than a dozen different kinds of ticks, though not all of them are encountered by people. One of the more common is the American dog tick, which as its name implies will bite both dogs and humans. It is known to spread illnesses like Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia. Deer ticks, which spread Lyme, is known to be present in much of Illinois, and is particularly active in spring and summer.

IDPH has many tips for avoiding ticks when you are outdoors. Wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants, use bug repellant with at least 20% of more DEET, picaridin or IR3535 on exposed skin, walk in the center of trails and treat clothing with products containing permethrin – but do not apply permethrin to your skin.

Find the full list of tips for checking for, preventing and removing ticks here.

Illinois VFW Representative of the Year

It was my great honor last Friday morning to attend the Joint Opening Session of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Illinois state convention in Springfield to receive their Representative of the Year award.

Thank you to State Commander Brett Nila, all the Orion VFW members who came to Springfield in support, also the men and women of the VFW Department of Illinois and all the veterans who have served our nation.

Great turnout for Veteran/Senior Fair

Thank you to Seminary Village in Galesburg and all the vendors who participated in our Veteran/Senior Fair on Wednesday.

We had a tremendous turnout. There were free health screenings, door prizes and a lot of good information about programs for seniors and for veterans. It was a very successful morning. We even had an opportunity for guests to dispose of old electronic devices in need of recycling.

Thank you to everyone who helped out and everyone who stopped by!

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