74th District State Representative Dan Swanson, along with other state legislators are pushing for health-related bills during hearings tomorrow (Wednesday) in Springfield. HB 4142 will go before the House tomorrow which amends the Newborn Metabolic Screening Act. The bill requires the Department of Public Health to provide all newborns and infants within 12 months of birth with screening tests for the presence of spinal muscular atrophy. Spinal Muscular Atrophy manifests in various degrees of severity, which all have in common progressive muscle wasting and mobility impairment. “Recent legislation has been passed in other states,” Swanson said. “It’s kind of what we are drafting our legislation off of. Why reinvent the wheel? If they got that kind of legislation passed in another state, let’s get that passed here.” Another legislation Swanson along with 48th District State Representative Andy Manar is pressing for is Lyme Disease treatment in Illinois. According to Swanson, Mercer County residents effected by Lyme Disease are required to receive treatment in Iowa – which seems to be an issue of insurance. “You feel good to get a group to pass this. You feel good when the results turn out to be beneficial to young babies being born and with Lyme Disease. (When they are) able to travel to their local doctor instead of traveling hundreds of miles to see a doctor.” The last legislation that Swanson is pushing for are “Green Alerts.”
“A veteran being recently reported missing by a family member, would enact a system similar to an Amber Alert. Emergency service agencies would immediately begin searching for that missing veteran.” According to Swanson, over 20 veterans commit suicide every day in Illinois. Earlier this year, Wisconsin enacted the Corey Adams Searchlight Act after a Milwaukee-area veteran went missing and was found dead. It took eight days before he was determined to meet critical missing criteria by Milwaukee police even though his family filed a missing persons report. The Illinois House resumes it’s legislation session Wednesday in Springfield.