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Koehler measure protecting students with asthma signed into law

Asthma Inhaler 5950870440SPRINGFIELD – Legislation protecting students with asthma by allowing their schools to keep backup inhalers on hand was signed into law today.

The measure, Senate Bill 3015, allows school nurses or other personnel to administer asthma medication that is registered in the name of a school district, public school, charter school or nonpublic school to a person in respiratory distress. Similar laws already apply to life-saving EpiPens, which are applied to combat severe allergic reactions.

Illinois expands tax incentive that will continue to benefit Peoria

koehler 072618PEORIA – A special economic development tool that spurred significant business investment in Peoria now will be available to other central Illinois communities that wish to replicate the river city’s success.

Senate Bill 3527, signed into law today on the Peoria riverfront, expands the successful River Edge historic preservation tax credit program to the entire state. Previously, the incentive only was available in Peoria, Rockford, East St. Louis, Elgin and Aurora, all of which are riverside communities that had sought to lure community investment and revitalize their economies.

State Senator Dave Koehler, a Peoria Democrat, was a chief co-sponsor of the measure. He has seen the physical transformations and job creation that can occur as a result of the River Edge program. Numerous redevelopment projects in the city’s Warehouse District and downtown benefitted from the incentive.

“It’s far more beneficial to help someone invest in a historic building or a struggling neighborhood than to let that property languish and become an eyesore,” Koehler said. “Revitalization puts people to work, increases property values, boosts pride in the community and leads to vibrancy and growth. There’s no down side.”

State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria) sponsored the legislation in the House.

The new law is expected to help clear the way for a nearly $100 million investment by OSF Healthcare, which has plans to take over the former Caterpillar Inc. headquarters at 124 SW Adams St. More than 700 OSF employees will work at the downtown site once renovation of the structure, built in 1905, is complete.

Senate Bill 3527 prioritizes five categories of eligible buildings for the tax credit, including those located in areas subject to a disaster declaration, those located in border communities and those previously owned by a governmental entity.

The law – which provides up to $15 million in credits annually for qualified projects – also enables the state to recapture any tax credits from developers who fail to meet program requirements.

Measure helping families of fallen soldiers signed into law

koehler 041718SPRINGFIELD – Legislation allowing the immediate families of armed service members killed in action or while on active duty to terminate the lease of the deceased was signed into law today.

Previously, the law allowed service members to terminate a lease if they receive orders for a change in duty station or deployment longer than 90 days. House Bill 4317 extends the right to terminate to the dependents of fallen service members.

Koehler: Red flag law balances public safety with due process

koehler 041218PEORIA – A new state law that allows authorities to put temporary distance between potentially volatile people and their firearms contains checks to balance individual rights with public safety, State Senator Dave Koehler said today.

The measure, known as a red-flag or lethal order of protection law, was signed Monday. It enables family members and police to alert a judge if they believe a person with access to a firearm could pose a danger to themselves or to the public. If the judge agrees, the court can require firearms to be temporarily removed from the person’s possession.

It passed the General Assembly with bipartisan support.

“This law is a preventative measure that balances the gun owner’s right to due process with the public’s right to be safe from violence,” said Koehler, a Peoria Democrat. “Illinois is empowering families to step in before a loved one causes suffering and destruction that can never be undone. It’s also acknowledging gun owners’ concerns by requiring a burden of evidence before firearms can be removed.”

Under the new law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019, a family member or law enforcement officer must present clear and convincing evidence that a person poses a significant personal or public danger by having access to a firearm.

If a judge agrees, the court will issue a firearm restraining order that requires the person in question to temporarily relinquish his or her firearms and FOID card to law enforcement. The person also will be barred from purchasing or possessing additional firearms during the restraining period.

Anyone who provides false information in seeking an order would be guilty of perjury.

The legislation is House Bill 2354.

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