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Koehler: Medicaid program shouldn’t be used to pad corporate profits

koehler 022718SPRINGFIELD – Legislation that would help small business owners who supply durable medical equipment to Medicaid patients passed the Senate Human Services Committee last week. Durable medical equipment includes equipment such as portable oxygen, feeding tubes and ventilators.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is the sponsor of SB 2262, which would require that the suppliers of the equipment are reimbursed the same amount as the Medicaid Fee for Service fee schedule.

“While some believe the state should have no role in assisting businesses, it’s different when we are talking about life saving equipment for young children,” Koehler said. “I don’t think we should allow this dog-eat-dog environment to put the safety and well-being of Medicaid patients and their families at risk.“

Koehler celebrates 1 year anniversary of Future Energy Jobs Act

koehler 121117PEORIA – Local officials gathered last week to discuss the benefits of the Future Energy Jobs Act on the one year anniversary of the law being signed. The law placed Illinois in the forefront of green energy production, creating one of the strongest Renewable Portfolio Standards ever.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) was a proponent of the legislation while it was being debated in Springfield and says the tax credits created both federally and state wide are the reason for a boom in the industry.

“That’s why you are starting to see an explosion right now of solar (energy) because solar is ready for Illinois,” Koehler said.  “The technology is there. And because of these incentives we now see projects whether they are commercial scale projects, whether they are community projects they are now viable economically.”  

Thanks to the legislation, Fondulac Township is helping start one of Illinois’ first community solar projects. It is estimated that the project could power up to 400 homes in Tazewell County.

The goal of the Future Energy Jobs bill is to have 25 percent of the state’s generated electricity to come from renewable energy options like solar power or wind turbines.

Memorial for fallen military personnel dedicated at Capitol

koehler xmastreeSPRINGFIELD – A memorial remembering fallen soldiers and their families was dedicated at the Illinois State Capitol this week. The memorial is sponsored by America’s Gold Star Families, an organization that helps the families of fallen servicemen and women.

The Tree of Honor, located just east of the rotunda, is decorated with ornaments bearing the names and pictures of members of the military from every branch who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) spoke at the dedication, stressing the need to never forget the sacrifices our military families make.

Koehler, Weaver pass resolution honoring fallen Navy SEAL

koehler 022817SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Route 29 will have a new name in the Chillicothe city limits after a resolution was passed by the Illinois Senate today. The highway will now be named the “Senior Chief Petty Officer William ‘Ryan’ Owens Memorial Highway”.

The resolution renaming the highway, Senate Joint Resolution 35, was sponsored by Peoria County’s two state Senators, Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) and Senator Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria). 

“Senior Chief Owens will be remembered forever as a dedicated and selfless hero,” Koehler said. “His service in the Navy SEALs was nothing short of exemplary and will serve as a model of heroism for decades to come.” 

Senior Chief Petty officer William ‘Ryan’ Owens was a Navy SEAL killed during a raid in Yemen in January 2017. Senior Chief Owens enlisted in the Navy in 1998, the same year he graduated from Illinois Valley Central High School in Chillicothe.

A decorated SEAL, Senior Chief Owens was the recipient of the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, two Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medals, the Joint Service Achievement medal, three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medals, the Combat Action Ribbon, two Joint Meritorious Unit Awards, six Good Conduct Medals and three Presidential Unit Citations.

Additionally, Senior Chief Owens was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his actions in Somalia in 2015. Owens had been leading a twelve-man team alongside friendly African forces deep inside war torn Somalia when their unit was ambushed. Senior Chief Owens repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire, eventually securing a town that had been in enemy hands for ten years.

Sen. David Koehler

46th District

Years served:
Appointed December 2006; Elected 2008 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture (Vice-Chairperson); Local Government; Transportation; Committee of the Whole; Environment and Conservation (Chairperson); Labor.

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 Representative(s): Michael Unes, Jehan A. Gordon-Booth