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Koehler reminds Illinoisans of available tax assistance

incometaxhelp 031120SPRINGFIELD – Low income families and senior citizens seeking help filing their 2019 income taxes are able to receive free help through several state programs, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) announced Tuesday.

“As Tax Day draws near, it’s vital that we ensure those who are in need receive the necessary help in an affordable, timely manner,” Koehler said. “By partnering with the Illinois Department of Revenue, the IRS and AARP we’re providing a way to relieve a burden for those who may be in need of it most.”

The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs offer free tax help for individuals making $56,000 or less, persons with disabilities, taxpayers who speak limited English and individuals 60 years of age or older.

Additionally, AARP’s Foundation Tax-Aide program focuses on helping low-to-moderate income individuals, with special attention to those over 50 years of age. An AARP membership is not required.

Illinois taxpayers can search for a free tax assistance provider closest to them by visiting the Illinois Department of Revenue’s website tax.illinois.gov.

Koehler announces open application period for $80 million in local economic development grants

koehler 031020SPRINGFIELD – Local governments will be able to apply to receive a portion of nearly $80 million in grants to boost economic development and modernize infrastructure in their communities, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) announced Tuesday.

“By offering local governments the chance to invest in themselves, we’re continuing to demonstrate a commitment to downstate,” Koehler said. “When downstate thrives, Illinois thrives.”

Through a competitive selection process, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will distribute funding to local governments to support projects that will help generate jobs, expand economic opportunity and encourage new development.

DCEO has allocated $50 million for public infrastructure investments, $16.5 million for regional economic development projects and $13 million to prepare sites for construction. Potential projects also include improvements to utility lines and waste disposal systems, land and building acquisition, and architectural planning and engineering design.

Applications for public infrastructure grants must be submitted by June 30, but others will be accepted on a rolling basis. Available grants, project guidelines and application materials can be found here.

For additional information on these funds, prospective applicants can visit DCEO’s website here. Interested parties can send questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 217-785-6174.

Koehler to pursue property tax reform, infrastructure and ethics reform in upcoming legislative session

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: capping insulin costs is common sense

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.

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 (TR); Oversight Medicaid Mang. Care, Spec; Supplier Diversity, Special Com. On; Sub. on Interscholastic Athletics (Sub-Chairperson).

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