Koehler

  • Koehler works to provide financial relief for property owners

    koehler chair 052220SPRINGFIELD – To provide much needed flexibility and relief as businesses and counties begin to reopen, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) sponsored legislation that would give property owners the means to continue meeting the challenges presented by COVID-19.

    "I led the Senate’s economic revitalization working group with one goal in mind. We had to provide people with real, tangible solutions to the enormous challenges brought on by the pandemic,” Koehler said. “Implementing property tax relief measures and extending payment deadlines is where we have to start as we begin to work toward the recovery of our local economies.”

  • Koehler votes for safe elections

    vote by mailSPRINGFIELD – To ensure safe participation in the upcoming election, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) voted to expand voting options for Illinoisans.

    “Because we are unsure of what further consequences we could be facing this fall as we continue managing the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis, we ought to offer folks more options as they consider how to cast their ballot,” Koehler said. “The promotion of safe, secure elections should not be a partisan issue.”

  • Koehler: online clinics are available to curb rising utility costs

    utility meter 051220PEORIA – To potentially save homeowners money on rising utility bills, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is encouraging residents to participate in the Citizens Utility Board’s (CUB) Virtual Utility Bill Clinic.

    “While we spend more of our time at home with loved ones, the increase in utility costs is inevitable,” Koehler said. “As we continue to manage the consequences of COVID-19, every dollar counts. People need to know there are free programs available that can provide folks with measures to take which could result in lower utility costs. I urge homeowners to participate in a Citizens Utility Board clinic to see what savings may be in store for them.”

    To participate, residents should send a copy of their most recent electric, natural gas and telecom bills to CUB at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line “Attn: Virtual Utility Bill Clinic.” Participants can remove personal information, but their documents should include the account holder’s name.

    A CUB specialist will evaluate the bill to determine if you are signed up with an alternative supplier or if you are paying for unnecessary products or services. CUB will also let you know if you are eligible for money-saving programs, like financial assistance, and share information about energy-efficiency programs.

    For more information on the program, please visit www.citizensutilityboard.org.

  • Koehler works to ensure reopening of local state wildlife areas

    springlake 050520PEORIA – Following the announcement that Spring Lake and Banner Marsh will not be reopened alongside numerous other parks throughout the state, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) joined fellow downstate Democrats in sending a letter to the governor urging him to work with the legislature to reopen area state parks.

    “Parks are a vital resource for every part of our state,” Koehler said. “I’m disappointed central Illinoisans won’t be able to utilize two of our area’s finest natural resources.”

    If Spring Lake and Banner Marsh were to reopen, they could provide central Illinoisans with an avenue to safely escape the confines of their homes periodically.

    “We are all frustrated by this health crisis and the economic devastation that has resulted in our communities,” Koehler said. “The very least we can do is work to provide the people of central Illinois with more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. I look forward to working with the administration to make this happen.”

  • Downstate Senate Democrats push to double funding for local health departments

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  • Koehler provides local entities with disinfectant supplies

    east peoria fire2PEORIA – To further assist in local sanitation efforts to protect against the coronavirus, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) has facilitated the distribution of surface disinfectant supplies to numerous businesses and organizations throughout the Peoria area.

    “As we begin to implement the next phase of the Stay at Home order, it’s essential that we equip local businesses, governments, and organizations with the tools necessary to protect against infection,” Koehler said. “Our priority is for our businesses to reopen in a safe environment, and this is a crucial step in that direction. I’d like to thank the East Peoria Fire Department for expanding on their already invaluable service by picking up and distributing these supplies.”

  • Koehler offers personal protective equipment to local businesses and organizations

    koehler 031020PEORIA – To provide a boost in community sanitation efforts, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is offering local businesses and organizations an opportunity to acquire a supply of disinfectant from Patho Sans, a company based in Glendale Heights, Illinois. 

    “Because our new normal requires us to be proactive, it’s essential to provide businesses and other community organizations with the tools to maintain a sanitary work space,” Koehler said. “In addition to providing surface disinfectant, my office is seeking donations of hand sanitizer, masks and other personal protective equipment. Anyone who has an abundance of these materials is being urged to contact my office so we can get them in the hands of those in need.”

    The disinfectant is a surface cleaner and comes in five-gallon containers, which will include a pouring spout and some spray bottles. There is a 30-day shelf life, so businesses and other interested organizations would need to determine what is necessary for a 30-day supply. 

    Please reach out to Senator Koehler’s district office at 309-677-0120 if your organization is interested. There is a limited supply, and materials will be provided on a first come first serve basis.

  • Koehler: Telehealth expansion will save lives

    telehealth2 041620PEORIA – In an effort to serve those who are potentially impacted by COVID-19 and are recovering at home, OSF Healthcare is launching telehealth locations in Peoria and other locations throughout Illinois, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) announced Tuesday. 

    “By prioritizing the funding of telehealth services, we’re able to more easily serve areas of the state that have otherwise been overlooked,” Koehler said. “Simultaneously, this technology helps to prevent overcrowding in hospitals, allowing us to further reduce the spread of this virus within our communities. Thank you to the experts at OSF Health Care for their innovation and state officials for smoothly implementing this program. I urge residents to try to take advantage of this if they are able.”

    According to OSF, this pandemic health worker approach safeguards hospitals from being overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, limits the spread of contagion and protects access to quality healthcare for all.

    The OSF PHW teams are serving East Central and North Central Illinois communities include Peoria/Bloomington, Champaign/Urbana, Evergreen Park, Danville, Galesburg, Kewanee, Monmouth, Ottawa, Mendota, Streator, Pontiac and Rockford. The OSF Hotline number is 833-673-5669 and is available now. More information can be found at www.osfhealthcare.org.

    This collaboration was made possible through a partnership with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services and OSF HealthCare.

  • Koehler lauds decision to extend state tax filing deadline

    IRSdeadlinePeoria – To alleviate some of the financial anxieties many families are facing in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, the state tax filing deadline has been extended to July 15,  a move State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) said will help take some financial and emotional pressure off Illinoisans.

    “The decision by the governor to extend the Illinois state tax filing deadline is incredibly prudent,” Koehler said. “This will provide relief to workers who find themselves in uncharted territory as it pertains to their employment status and income. We have plenty of folks who are worried about where their next paycheck may be coming from. The last thing that needs to be on their mind at this moment is how they’re going to be paying their tax bill.”

    Over the course of the past several weeks Koehler has diligently worked to share vital information with constituents to help ease the burden that our communities are facing due to the coronavirus outbreak.

    He encourages those with further questions to either contact his office via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., by calling (309) 677-0120, or visiting the Illinois Senate Democrats’ coronavirus resource hub at http://illinoissenatedemocrats.com/covid-19

  • 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.

  • The Majority Report 03/02/20 - Opioid committee hearing, a new suicide prevention bill and how lawmakers are going to tackle high medication costs

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    Suicide prevention should be as easy as a 911 call

    Sen. Suzy Glowiak Hilton

    SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton (D-Western Springs) is calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish a 3-digit suicide hotline for Americans experiencing mental health crises.

    “Mental health crises are becoming more prevalent, specifically in young people, and we need national leadership on this issue,” Glowiak Hilton said. “Creating a dedicated emergency hotline for this will save lives.”

    Read more.

     

     


    Crowe holds opioid committee on ISP, DOI testimonies

    Sen. Rachelle CroweSPRINGFIELD — Hearing reports from agencies to update lawmakers on the implementation of the 2018 State Opioid Action Plan (SOAP), members of the Senate’s Special Committee on Opioid Crisis Abatement met Tuesday under the leadership of State Senator Rachelle Crowe.

    “Exploring opioid-related issues from every angle, from expanding mental health services to reporting and treating overdoses, is the only way we will see effective change in our communities,” Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) said. “By holding these hearings, we’re getting legislators and stakeholders in the same room for the opportunity to create solutions and increase access to opioid prevention, treatment and recovery programs.”

    Read more.

     

     

     


    Manar announces legislation to create Prescription Drug Affordability Board to set prescription price limits Sen. Andy Manar

    SPRINGFIELD — Over half of Illinois residents are burdened by the high cost of health care and prescription drugs, according to a new Consumer Healthcare Experience State Survey (CHESS), commissioned in January 2020 by Protect Our Care Illinois and Altarum’s Healthcare Value Hub, with the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

    The survey, announced last week by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) found that 54% of respondents are either “worried” or “very worried” about affording the cost of prescription drugs, and 28% of Illinois adults have rationed or gone without medication due to the skyrocketing cost of prescription medication.

    Read more.

     


    Illinois Senate welcomes students from Illinois Math and Science Academy Sens. Elgie R. Sims and Dave Koehler with IMSA Students

    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.

    “This is a remarkable opportunity for these students to see firsthand how their government functions,” State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) said. “It also gives my colleagues and me the chance to connect with some of the best and brightest students our state has to offer. The future is undeniably promising for each and every one of them, and I look forward to following their progress.”

    Read more.

     


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    Lightford minimum wage increase now under effect
  • Illinois Senate welcomes students from Illinois Math and Science Academy

    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.

  • Koehler votes to override Pritzker veto, protect jobs at Peoria airport

    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 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.

  • Koehler announces grant that will lead to improved Farmington water infrastructure

    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.

  • Koehler: We need to prioritize good-paying jobs

    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.

  • Manar joins fellow state lawmakers in Peoria to demand lower insulin costs

    ManarPresser

  • Koehler: Coal ash clean-up shouldn’t fall on the back of taxpayers

    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.