SPRINGFIELD – People who fear having an allergic reaction when they dine out at restaurants will have an avenue to help remind restaurant staff of potential allergic reactions thanks to legislation that passed the Illinois Senate today.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) sponsored House Bill 3018 in large part because of an allergic reaction he himself had recently.

“As someone with a food allergy, I understand the care that goes into watching not only what you eat but what your food is prepared with,” Koehler said. “I’m hoping this legislation can help people, especially parents, have a sense of ease when going out to eat at a local restaurant.”

Under HB 3018, restaurants would be required to post a sign in clear view of customers reminding them to tell restaurant staff of any food allergies. The employee who was told of the allergy would then alert their supervisor or certified food protection manager on duty of the allergy.

It is estimated that 32 million people have a food allergy of some kind, including 5.6 million people under the age of 18. Of those children with food allergies, it is reported that 40% are allergic to more than one food.

The Center for Disease Control estimates that the prevalence of food allergies among children increased by 50% between 1997 and 2011. Additionally, the prevalence of nut allergies among children tripled between 1997 and 2008.

The legislation passed the Senate and House and now goes to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Senate voted to pass both a comprehensive infrastructure plan as well as the final pieces of the state budget today.

Assistant Majority leader Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) says both are key to bring the state to a long term place of stability.

“When you can find bipartisan solutions to keep our state budget balanced and simultaneously pass a long term road funding plan, that truly shows how far we’ve come these past few years,” Koehler said. “This budget will bring the state certainty and stability, while also modernizing our infrastructure network.”

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 123 Field Artillery Regiment of the Illinois Army National Guard were activated into service this week to assist areas affected by flooding.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), whose district is bisected by the Illinois River, issued the following statement:

“I am greatly encouraged and grateful that the governor is taking the flooding situation this seriously. I also want to thank the men and women of the Illinois National Guard who will be helping the people of my district.”

Currently 34 counties are under a disaster declaration due to flooding. The Illinois Department of Agriculture has said the percentage of crops planted is far lower than usual this year, due to the flooding.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – Illinois residents over the age of 21 will be legally allowed to purchase and consume cannabis under legislation that passed the Illinois Senate today.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) voted in favor of House Bill 1438 because he says prohibition not only hasn’t worked, but has created other societal problems.

“Our state and country should learn from the lessons that prohibition of alcohol taught us,” Koehler said. “By regulating and taxing the use of cannabis, we can take it off the street corner and put it in the empty storefront while capturing some much needed revenue.”

The legislation also provides processes for expungement of cannabis related issues and allows local cities to regulate public usage and where dispensaries can be located.

Effective January 1 of next year, Illinois residents over the age of 21 will be allowed to possess any combinations of the flowing:
• 30 grams of cannabis flower,
• 5 grams of cannabis concentrate,
• 500 milligrams of THC contained in a cannabis-infused product.

Revenue generated will be distributed in the following way:
• 2% for public education and safety campaigns,
• 8% for law enforcement funds for prevention and training to be distributed through the Local Government Distributive Fund formula,
• 25% for Recover, Reinvest, and Renew Program,
• 20% for programs that address preventative substance abuse programs and mental health services,
• 10% for the state’s bill backlog,
• 35% to the General Revenue Fund.

The legislation now goes to the House of Representatives for concurrence.

Category: Press Releases

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

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