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PEORIA – Following the Illinois Senate’s passage of a criminal justice reform package, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) issued the following statement:

“Given the devastating events that took place over the past year and decades prior, police accountability measures are absolutely necessary to bridge our current divide.

“This piece of legislation is the culmination of months of public hearings, hundreds of hours of testimony and negotiations with law enforcement, experts in law enforcement and criminal justice reform public policy, and residents throughout the state. Their input was implemented in this legislation, and I believe we came to a solution that is good for everyone.

“After reading the initial proposal and consulting with law enforcement leaders, I knew there would need to be several changes before I could support it. I asked for the sponsor to take out the removal of qualified immunity, penalties for local governments in the event that they did not provide body cameras for officers, and the removal of collective bargaining rights. Through a great deal of time and effort, we convinced the sponsors to remove these items that would have put our law enforcement officers at risk. 

“As far as ‘defunding the police’ goes, this legislation does nothing to remove funding from departments. Instead, it provides additional funding opportunities for departments who try to purchase and implement body cameras by specified deadlines.

“Of course, no one piece of legislation is perfect, and I expect there to be additional changes. In this case, the legislation does not take effect immediately, which will allow time for review and necessary tweaks to take place. I have spent my entire career supporting law enforcement officials and can assure you I would never vote for something that impaired their ability to properly serve our communities.”

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – Providing educators and students with the resources needed to succeed, fighting for quality, affordable health care and ensuring prosperity Downstate remain at the top of State Senator Dave Koehler’s (D-Peoria) legislative agenda.

Koehler, who was sworn in to his fifth term on Wednesday, is eager to continue working to improve the lives of the people of Central Illinois.

“The responsibility of representing the people of the 46th Legislative District in Springfield is something I consider to be an incredible privilege,” Koehler said. “Once again, they’ve put their trust in me, and I look forward to continuing the work of earning that trust.”

Koehler was elected to the Illinois Senate in 2006 and successfully won re-election in 2010, 2012, and 2016. The 49th Legislative District encompasses all or parts of Peoria, Tazewell, and Fulton Counties.

“The work that we do in Springfield has never been without difficulty, but the challenges we collectively face, both economically and societally, in responding to COVID-19 are something else entirely,” Koehler said. “I look forward to meeting those challenges and implementing solutions with the help of my colleagues and input from the people I represent.”

Category: Press Releases

The State of Illinois finished 2020 ranked #1 for applcations of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), the form most students use to apply for federal and state financial aid for postsecondary education.

This was due in part to a law passe by the legislature to make FAFSA completion a high school graduation requirement. As we saw in Illinois, this action can increase the number of students who are aware of the resources available to help them afford education or training after high school. This information can also help some students decide to attempt college when they might not otherwise have done so, and it may help some students limit student loan debt and take a fuller course load to more quickly complete a degree or credential.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission already provides free college planning and financial aid workshops and one-on-one assistance for students throughout the year, but the agency is extending its outreach and supports to help address the many obstacles for students created by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to meet the state’s new FAFSA Mandate.

ISAC has hosted over 750 online financial aid workshops with school partners, as well as 13 statewide virtual financial aid completion workshops since September 2020, with more scheduled in 2021. As high schools focus their efforts on remote learning and keeping connected with students, ISAC is reaching out directly to schools that previously participated in the CCE campaign and is offering the following free supports statewide:

  • Online financial aid completion workshops for students and parents. See studentportal.isac.org/events for statewide virtual events.
  • Individual assistance to students and parents in completing financial aid applications, via web conferencing, phone, text, or email. Contact your local ISACorps member for free assistance: studentportal.isac.org/isacorps. Sign up for ISAC’s free text messaging app to get college/financial aid questions answered via text: isac.org/collegeqa.
  • ISAC’s FAFSA Completion Initiative and direct outreach to students. ISAC's FAFSA Completion Initiative offers Illinois school districts a way to identify students who have not submitted either a FAFSA or Alternative Application. The application completion information - updated on a weekly basis - can be used by district counselors to help reach students who may need assistance or encouragement to complete an application. To support busy school counselors and with school permission, ISAC can directly reach out to and assist students who have not completed a FAFSA. Find out more at https://www.isac.org/home/fafsa/index.html 
  • Financial Aid Online Learning Module for classrooms. ISAC is developing an online learning module for schools to use as part of their remote learning curriculum, which includes a video and a learning packet.
  • QR code for outreach to students and families. To improve outreach to students and families during the pandemic, ISAC will be introducing a QR code that links to simple and accessible information for students and families about how to get free assistance with financial aid applications. ISAC is partnering with several schools to pilot a program that will affix stickers with this QR code to free and reduced meal boxes and printed learning materials. Students and families will be able to scan the QR code with their phones to access the information.
Category: Latest

WinterDrivingPrep

PEORIA – State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is urging Illinois drivers to be extra careful on the road during the winter with the first major storm of the season on the horizon. 

“The winter can make roads dangerous,” Koehler said. “I urge everyone to use extreme care when driving on icy roads and to keep up with the latest information on road conditions.”  

Changing weather conditions always present the opportunity for unpredictable road conditions. Getting Around Illinois is a tool to help drivers make informed decisions on whether to drive and to choose the safest routes. This information is important during the winter because of the potential for icy road conditions. 

Getting Around Illinois can be accessed on computers and smartphones. It provides a way for residents to examine a location, destination, or travel route based on a map of the state. Getting Around Illinois also provides a general overview of highways that are maintained by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

The map provided by Getting Around Illinois also features a diverse color scheme and other accessibility options for people who have difficulty distinguishing colors.

Drivers can access Getting Around Illinois by going to the website.

Category: Press Releases

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Contact Info

Springfield Office:
323B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8250

Peoria Office:
400 NE Jefferson, Suite 200
Peoria, IL 61603
(309) 677-0120