Koehler

  • Sen. Elgie R. Sims and Sen. Dave Koehler with students from the Illinois Math and Science Academy

    SPRINGFIELD – Students from the Illinois Math and Science Academy traveled to Springfield Tuesday as a part of the academy’s first annual State Capitol Day trip.

    Students shadowed their respective Senators throughout the day.

    “I shared a wonderful day with my constituent Esha Dani who attends the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. The Senate was honored to host such a brilliant group of students and we can’t wait to see what their futures hold,” Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) said.

  • Senator KoehlerSPRINGFIELD – Legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) that would ensure the preservation of manufacturing jobs in the Peoria area passed the Senate with bipartisan support yesterday.

    “The point of this legislation is simple: to keep good-paying jobs in our area,” Koehler said. “Without this tax exemption there is no question that aviation companies would have to take a long look at doing business elsewhere.”

    Peoria is home to Byerly Aviation, a company that offers maintenance, charters and aircraft sales.

    This legislation would reinstate the Illinois state sales tax exemption for materials used in aircraft manufacturing, which expired Dec. 31, 2014.

    Since its expiration, the Illinois Department of Revenue audited several privately owned aviation repair companies and never required them to collect sales tax. The Illinois Aviation Trades Association believes the outstanding tax bill is roughly $50 million.

    This legislation now awaits the governor’s signature.

  • koehler 012820SPRINGFIELD – More affordable property taxes, an ambitious plan to soften the effect of the increased minimum wage on local businesses and ethics reforms that target the culture of corruption in Springfield will be among State Senator Dave Koehler’s (D-Peoria) top legislative priorities for the upcoming year, he announced today.

    “It’s vital that we continue to what we can to protect working families, first and foremost,” Koehler said. “Easing the property tax burden, assisting thoseby power plant closures and ensuring a smooth transition for small businesses ahead of future minimum wage increases are all feasible steps we can take to continue working on their behalf.”

    Among Koehler’s top priorities for the spring legislative session:

    • Property tax reform
    • Seamless implementation of the $45 billion infrastructure plan
    • Ethics reform
    • Transition of communities harmed by power plant closures
    • Minimum Wage Impact relief for small businesses and not-for-profits
    • Addressing the rising debt of state pension plans 

    “The bipartisan $45 billion infrastructure plan we passed last year is just the beginning of what we can accomplish when we work together,” Koehler said. “This upcoming session will be about building on that success. Though we accomplished a great deal, our work is far from done. It’s no secret that serious problems in our state remain unsolved.”

    Lawmakers return to Springfield today for the beginning of the legislative session. 

  • koehler 053119SPRINGFIELD – Following the signing of legislation to combat skyrocketing costs of prescription insulin, State Senator Dave Koehler offered the following statement:

    “For far too long, people who need this medication to survive have been forced to make the impossible choice between food and housing or prescription medication,” Koehler (D-Peoria) said. “This life saving medication should be available at a cost that will not break the bank, and with this new law we’re making this a reality for Illinoisans.”

    The price of insulin has drastically increased in the United States in the past several years. According to a 2016 analysis, the price of the drug tripled between 2002 and 2013.

    1.3 million Illinoisans are living with diabetes and rely on insulin to manage their blood sugar levels. Price increases have left many of them struggling to pay for the drug, and at-risk of deadly consequences.

    “This truly is common sense legislation, and I’m incredibly proud to have advocated on its behalf,” Koehler said.

  • koehler 011620SPRINGFIELD – To invest in water system improvements in the community, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development has awarded the City of Farmington $500,000 in the form of Community Development Block Grant, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) announced today.

     “Thanks to this program, Farmington is at long last being given a chance to make necessary upgrades to outdated water infrastructure. I’m excited to follow this project’s development,” Koehler said.

    The Community Development Block Grant program is a federally funded initiative designed to support community development activities such as affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, and infrastructure development.

  • Sen. Dave KoehlerSPRINGFIELD – Yesterday, Gov. JB Pritzker vetoed House Bill 3902, which would reinstate Illinois’ sales tax exemption for aircraft materials, prioritizing jobs in the aviation-repair industry and allowing business to compete with 35 other states.

    State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) issued the following statement:

    “The reality of the situation is that this exemption helps our state remain competitive in the aviation industry, and it needs to be reinstated. Without it, aviation companies will outsource these good-paying jobs to other states. We should prioritize the nearly 3,400 jobs across the state that are being threatened due to the governor’s decision.”

    Peoria is home to Byerly Aviation, a state of the art facility offering maintenance, charters, and aircraft sales.

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  • Senator KoehlerSPRINGFIELD – Legislation putting in place policies designed to address coal ash, the toxic byproduct left over by coal-fired power plants, passed the Illinois Senate today.

    Assistant Majority Leader Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is one of the measures chief co-sponsors and says it’s important that cleanup costs not fall on taxpayers who did nothing wrong.

    “The discussion has to be around who is responsible and who is going to pay for this,” Koehler said. “These messes aren’t going away, and if we don’t pass this legislation then the taxpayers are going to be on the hook for this.”

    A report issued by environmental groups in late 2018 found that the groundwater around the Edwards Coal Plant south of Peoria was 18 times the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s drinking water standard.

    “I understand the concerns of energy industry, but that’s the cost of doing business,” Koehler added. “When you make a mess, you clean it up.”

    The legislation passed the senate on a bipartisan roll call and now goes to the House of Representatives.

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  • koehler 040319SPRINGFIELD – A resolution sponsored by State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) honoring the 100 years of work done by Easterseals, America’s largest nonprofit health care organization, was adopted by the Illinois Senate today.

    “The work in the community that Easterseals does is irreplaceable,” Koehler said. “This resolution helps us honor that work and remind people of the struggles the different communities Easterseals serves are faced with every day.”

    Senate Resolution 199 declares April 3, 2019, as “Easterseals Day” in Illinois, 100 years to the day Edgar Allen founded the National Society for Crippled Children, which grew into the Easterseals.

  • creditcards 032919SPRINGFIELD – Legislation intended to protect the credit card and bank account numbers of government entities was passed by State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) today.

    “This is one of those pieces of legislation that is hard to believe needed to happen,” Koehler said. “We must take every precaution to protect these credit cards from getting misused or worse, stolen.”

    The legislation, Senate Bill 1712, would exempt credit card numbers, debit card numbers, bank account numbers, Federal Employer Identification Number, security code numbers, passwords, and similar account information from Freedom of Information Act Requests if it is believed the disclosure could result in identity theft or the defrauding of a government entity.

    SB 1712 passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the House of Representatives.

  • pow mia flag 030719SPRINGFIELD – Illinois’ lost heroes may soon be recognized at local airports, thanks to Senator Tom Cullerton.

    Cullerton (D-Villa Park) passed Senate Bill 1127 on Thursday to require the Division of Aeronautics under the Department of Transportation fly the Veteran Missing in Action flag at all of the airports in their jurisdiction.

    “Our lost heroes should never be forgotten,” Cullerton said. “This small gesture helps keep our missing heroes from all wars in our hearts and minds.”

  • pow mia flag 030719SPRINGFIELD – The POW/MIA flag will be flown at all Illinois public airports under legislation that passed the Illinois Senate today.

    State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), the chief co-sponsor of Senate Bill 1127, was joined by members of the Peoria American Legion Post #2 today for the bill’s passage.

    “This legislation sends a clear message to our veterans that they and their comrades are not forgotten,” Koehler said. “I am proud to have been able to work with the Peoria American Legion post, Gary Hall and others to get this done.”

    The idea was brought to Springfield by Peoria-area veteran Gary Hall, who wanted the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport to fly the POW/MIA flag under the American flag. Airport officials said their hands were tied legally and would be unable to fly the flag.

    The measure now goes to the House of Representatives. 

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    SPRINGFIELD – Legislation inspired by a Peoria-area veteran advanced out of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee today.

    State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is the chief co-sponsor of Senate Bill 1127, which requires airports in Illinois to fly the POW/MIA flag.

    “Honoring our veterans with public displays is crucial for younger generations to understand and remember their sacrifices,” Koehler said. “This legislation is just one small step we can take to show our veterans that we have not forgotten them.”

    The idea was brought to Springfield by Peoria-area veteran Gary Hall, who wanted the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport to fly the POW/MIA flag under the American flag. Airport officials said their hands were tied legally and would be unable to fly the flag.

    The measure now goes before the whole Senate for a vote.

  • koehler 051618PEORIA – State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) agrees that more must be done to protect the environment from climate change after Gov. JB Pritzker today signed an executive order relating to the environment.

    “If we don’t do anything to reduce our carbon emissions, we are eventually going reach the point of no return,” Koehler said. “Gov. Pritzker is right to continue this fight and I look forward to working with him to expand green energy production and green energy jobs in Illinois.”

  • koehler 120418LEWISTOWN – State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is urging area residents to be cautious of scams in the wake of a tornado that rolled through southern Fulton County last weekend.

    “After these disasters happen, some people will inevitably prey on those affected,” Koehler said. “I urge all residents in Fulton County to proceed with caution and do their due diligence when accepting help.”

    Anyone who witnesses suspicious activity can report it to the Illinois Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline in Springfield by calling 1-800-243-0618.

    Saturday’s tornado moved through the Lewistown area, causing damage to structures and trees. No one was reported hurt or missing,

    Area residents should follow these steps to avoid scams:

    • Be wary of contractors who go door to door to offer repair services. Ask for recommendations from people you know and trust and, whenever possible, use established local contractors.
    • Call the Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline (1-800-243-0618) to check out a contractor and to learn if any complaints have been filed against a particular business.
    • Visit the Better Business Bureau’s central Illinois, St. Louisor Chicagowebsites to see if a business is a member and whether any complaints have been lodged against it.
    • Even if there is a need to act quickly, get written estimates from multiple contractors, and don’t be rushed into a deal.
    • Get all of the terms of a contract in writing, and obtain a copy of the signed contract.
    • Never make full payment until all the work has been completed to your satisfaction.
    • Never pay in cash.
    • Be aware that you have the right to cancel a contract within three business days if you signed it based on the contractor’s visit to your home.
    • In the case of disaster repair, you have an additional right to cancel. If your insurance carrier denies coverage, you have the right to cancel the contract within five days of when your insurance carrier denies your coverage.
    • Ask to see required state and local permits and licenses. Insurance adjusters and roofers must be licensed by state agencies. If the contractor does not have a required license, or if the name on the license doesn’t match the name on the contractor’s business card or truck, that should raise a red flag. Please visit the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation’s websiteto search licenses. Contact the Department of Insurance at (866) 445-5364 to verify that the public adjuster is licensed and in good standing.

     

     

  • koehler 051618PEORIA – One of nation’s largest steel manufacturers has reached a deal to purchase a Peoria steel mill that has served the area since 1889.

    The Dallas-based parent company of Keystone Steel and Wire, which is located on the south side of Peoria and employs nearly 1,000 people, announced this week that it will become part of Liberty Steel USA.

    “The news today is great for the thousands of employees of Keystone Steel and the entire Peoria area,” State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) said. “We have always been and will continue to be immensely proud of our manufacturing traditions in Peoria as well as the thousands of workers that make it possible.”

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