BudgetQuote Koehler2021 1

SPRINGFIELD – Following Governor JB Pritzker’s annual budget address, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) released the following statement:

“I am pleased that the budget proposal is focused on providing stability and predictability to working families in these uncertain times.

“This year’s budget offers a notable increase in resources for older Illinoisans and individuals with disabilities, as well as additional funds for the Illinois Department of Employment Security to remedy delays in aid to those in need. Furthermore, this proposal calls for over $300 million more for human services and an expansion of MAP grants, providing increased support for those seeking higher education in my district and across Central Illinois.  I am concerned, however, about the proposed reduction in funding for local governments. It does not make sense to take money away from our cities when they have experienced the same hardships as the state has. I feel that this will be a highly contested topic during negotiations.

“Families in the 46th District deserve a budget they can rely on, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to shape a budget that works for the people of my district.”

Category: Press Releases

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PEORIA – State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) will participate in a subject matter hearing of the Senate Labor Committee tomorrow at 10 a.m. to learn about the status of several unemployment insurance issues plaguing the Illinois Department of Employment Security over the last year. The unprecedented flood of claims during the COVID-19 crisis, when more than 1 million Illinoisans lost their jobs, overwhelmed the department.

“Issues with our unemployment benefits system have plagued the Department of Employment Security since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Koehler said. “It is not the goal of the committee to publicly scold the department or its employees, who have been working around the clock for those in dire need. But at some point we need concrete answers regarding what is being done to fix our broken system. It is my hope that this committee hearing will serve as a progress report on those issues from the department’s representatives.”

The public and lawmakers continue to express concerns about claimants being able to reach and receive assistance from the agency with their unemployment claims, as well as to get their payments. Illinois is also one of many states dealing with a wave of fraudulent claims, and the agency is seeking to implement tougher security measures to ensure benefits are only paid to verified recipients.

Since the pandemic began, Koehler has heard from colleagues and constituents about specific and ongoing issues. This hearing will give members serving on the Labor Committee an opportunity to ask for details from IDES officials.

To view virtual committee proceedings, visit https://ilga.gov/senateaudvid.asp and click "Watch Live Virtual Committee Video." The link will become available when proceedings begin.

Category: Press Releases
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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

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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