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Koehler issues statement on Duck Creek closure announcement

koehler powerplant 082119CANTON – Texas-based energy generator Vistra announced today that they are closing several downstate Illinois coal-fired power plants, including the Duck Creek plant in Canton.

Assistant Majority Leader Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) represents Canton and issued the following statement:

“I am incredibly saddened by the announcement that Duck Creek will close. The hardships that the workers at this plant will endure cannot be understated. They are not statistics or lines on a balance sheet. They are human beings, and I stand committed to working with the governor’s administration in Springfield to bring much needed economic support to both their families and the rest of the Fulton County community.

“The fact is the current business market for coal-based energy is simply no longer sustainable. As we transition to an energy economy that focuses on limiting emissions, we must be proactive in helping those communities that this will adversely effect.”

The Duck Creek plant was opened in 1976 and employs around 60 people.

New protections for first responders signed into law: Koehler

koehler 053019PEORIA – Existing protections under Scott’s Law, the state law requiring motorists to move over for emergency vehicles pulled over on the side of the road, were strengthened under legislation signed into law today.

Assistant Majority Leader Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) was a cosponsor of the measure and says that, with the prevalence of distracted driving, the measure couldn’t have come sooner.

“First responders have enough on their plates without having to worry about getting hit by cars on the interstate,” Koehler said. “This measure is designed to save lives, and I’m glad to stand with our first responders and support it.”

Senate Bill 1862 strengthens the existing provisions of Scott’s Law by:

  • Increasing the minimum fine for a Scott’s Law violation without damage or injury from $100 to $500
  • Making a Scott’s Law violation that results in damage to a vehicle a Class A misdemeanor
  • Making a violation that results in injury or death a Class 4 felony
  • Adding a Scott’s Law violation to the list of aggravating factors that may be used in sentencing for reckless homicide
  • Increasing the penalty for a reckless homicide conviction based on a violation of Scott’s Law that results in the death of a firefighter or emergency medical services personnel to a Class 2 felony from a Class 3 felony
  • Applying Scott’s Law to the requirements for approaching any disabled vehicle

Scott's Law is named after Lieutenant Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department, who was killed by a drunk driver while assisting at a crash on the highway in Chicago.

Bartonville, Peoria libraries receive grants to help at-risk youth

library 072519PEORIA – Alpha Park Public Library District and Peoria Public Libraries are receiving grants from Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White to help mentors connect with at-risk youth in the community.

Assistant Majority Leader Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) represents to the two cities and says it’s important to connect children with services early on to better serve them.

“Giving at-risk kids the opportunity to learn valuable skills in a safe environment can only serve to improve our communities,” Koehler said. “I want to thank Jesse White for seeing the potential in the Bartonville and Peoria communities when awarding this grant.”

According to the Secretary of State’s office, Project Next Generation offers grant funding to public libraries for establishing educational, after-school programs that not only provide access to computers, software and various technology devices, but also hire mentors who are crucial to helping students develop self-confidence and pride in their newly acquired skills.

In all, the Secretary of State awarded more than $464,000 in Project Next Generation grants statewide. The money is provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Grants are awarded to public libraries that serve culturally diverse, low-income and underserved populations.

Route 24 expansion improvements included in capital infrastructure plan

koehler 071119PEORIA – Assistant Majority Leader Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) joined House Deputy Majority Leader Jehan Gordon-Booth and Gov. JB Pritzker to tout Peoria area projects included in the Rebuild Illinois infrastructure plan passed by the General Assembly this spring.

“One of the biggest complaints I hear about from my constituents is the condition of our roads,” Koehler said. “This plan will change that.”

The $45 billion plan includes several projects specific to the Peoria area, including:

  • $114 million for Phase I of a Route 24 expansion, expanding the highway to four lanes  and replacing bridges between Kingston Mines and Banner
  • $48.6 million for road resurfacing and major bridge work for I-474
  • $41.9 million for road resurfacing and bridge work on I-74 between Peoria and Brimfield
  • $39.9 million for the Cedar Street bridge extension
  • $35 million for the Murray Baker bridge rehabilitation
  • $18.7 million to replace the Harmon Highway bridge over Kickapoo Creek

In addition to the transportation projects, other projects being funded include:

  • $5.2 million for renovations and improvements at Illinois Central College
  • $1 million for renovations to Garfield Primary School
  • $500,000 for repairs to the Fulton County Jail and Courthouse

Sen. David Koehler

Assistant Majority Leader
46th District

Years served:
Appointed December 2006; Elected 2008 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture; Education; Environment and Conservation (Vice-Chairperson); Labor; Local Government; Transportation; Subcommittee on Capital.

Biography: Born and raised in South Dakota, moved to Peoria in 1978; B.A., Yankton College, 1971; M.A. in divinity, United Theological Seminary, 1974; staff member, National Farm Worker Ministry; community organizer and program manager, Peoria Friendship House; executive director, Peoria Area Labor Management Council; president, Labor Management Cooperative Health Programs Inc.; Peoria County Board member, 1982-88; Peoria City Council member, 1989-97 (mayor pro tem, 1993-94); first elected to Senate in 2006; married with three daughters, a son-in-law and two granddaughters.

Associated Representatives:
Jehan Gordon-Booth
Michael D. Unes