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SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate voted today for a balanced budget that would end the budget impasse plaguing the state. State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) issued the following statement:

“Today’s vote in Springfield was one of the most important votes I’ve ever taken. This budget impasse has made far too many of my fellow Illinois residents suffer. Now that we have a comprehensive balanced budget, we can begin to put the pieces of our state back together.

“We must also continue to work on reforms with our Republican colleagues. It is has always been the goal of the Senate Democrats to pass both a budget and reforms that will help move the state forward.”

Category: Press Releases

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“The way we are going to build our economy and create jobs is by investing in things like our local infrastructure.” State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria)

SPRINGFIELD – Dozens of road projects that run out of funding on July 1 would be funded by a budget already passed by the Illinois Senate, according to one state senator.

Last week, the Illinois Department of Transportation warned contractors that without a budget in place, they would no longer be paid. IDOT estimates that the work stoppage would put more than 25,000 people out of work statewide.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) says that a plan passed by the Senate would fund IDOT’s capital budget, preventing the almost 700 projects valued at $2.3 billion from shutting down.

“I do not see how shutting down key infrastructure upgrades makes Illinois more business-friendly,” Koehler said. “While the governor has crisscrossed the state trying to focus attention away from his failed tenure, the Illinois Senate actually passed a balanced budget that provides stability.”

In the Peoria area, road work on Illinois 116 east of Hanna City and on the Shade-Lohman Bridge (Interstate 474) would be among those shut down, delaying the completion of the projects and adding to the costs.

Just outside Lake Camelot, work replacing the unsafe Lancaster Bridge over Lamarsh Creek would cease. The bridge, which has almost 4,000 cars cross it every day, has been closed since May 2016 after Peoria County engineers declared it was unsafe.

That project is 80 percent funded by IDOT. According to the Peoria County Highway Department, contractors would not be paid for work after June 30 because of the budget impasse.

Without the bridge completed, the 600-house Lake Camelot community must take a detour that adds 20 minutes and more than 12 miles to any trips they make to nearby Bartonville.

It is estimated that more than 1,200 workers would be out of a job if the active projects were closed, hurting the local economy.

“These projects put money into the pockets of hard-working central Illinois residents,” Koehler said. “The governor has effectively said he cares more about his political agenda than he does about the livelihoods of workers.”

Under the Senate’s budget, funding would also be allocated for projects that IDOT has requested funding for the next fiscal year. Those projects are valued at $38.65 million in the Peoria area alone.

“The way we are going to build our economy and create jobs is by investing in things like our local infrastructure,” Koehler said. “These projects will bring much needed repairs but also stimulate the local economy.”

This comes as the General Assembly returns to Springfield tomorrow for a special session called by the governor. Rauner had counted on the Senate passing a bipartisan package of reforms along with a budget to fill the nearly $5 billion deficit he proposed.

When the package of reforms appeared to be nearly complete, the governor intervened and forced Republican senators to vote against the legislation they negotiated.

“The Senate’s budget spends the exact same amount of money as the governor’s budget,” Koehler said. “Unfortunately, the governor decided that if he can’t get everything he wants, no one can.”

Category: Press Releases

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“I remain committed to working with my Republican colleagues to end this impasse before more people suffer." - State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria)

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) issued the following statement regarding the governor’s decision to call a special session of the General Assembly next week:

“Almost one month ago, the Illinois Senate passed a balanced budget with meaningful reforms the governor has demanded. We adjusted those reforms more than 30 times to appease the changing demands of the governor, yet still he asks for more.

“I remain committed to working with my Republican colleagues to end this impasse before more people suffer. However, I will remain suspicious of anything this governor demands until he demonstrates that he is willing to negotiate in good faith.”

Category: Press Releases

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“This new formula will make sure children in all environments; urban, suburban and rural, are able to get an education at a school that is fairly funded.” - State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria)

PEORIA – Peoria-area schools could see increases in state funding under the new school funding formula passed by the General Assembly. The new formula, passed as Senate Bill 1, prioritizes new money to schools furthest from equity.

Some of those school districts that could see large increases include Peoria, Pekin, Canton and Limestone. Under SB 1, major Peoria-area schools are estimated to get the following amounts:

  • Canton Union District 66: $762,658
  • Limestone Community High District 310: $539,074
  • Pekin Community High District 303: $727,431
  • Pekin Public Schools District 108: $544,824
  • Peoria Public Schools District 150: $1,812,332

Under the same plan, due to its classification as a high-tax district, East Peoria Community High School District 309 could potentially see property tax relief because of increased state aid.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) voted for the new formula, citing the need of downstate Illinois school districts with low property wealth.

“It is no secret that our school funding formula leaves far too many students behind simply because they live in a poor school district,” Koehler said. “This new formula will make sure children in all environments; urban, suburban and rural, are able to get an education at a school that is fairly funded.”

SB 1 also contains a hold-harmless provision that guarantees no schools will receive less money from the state.

Category: Press Releases

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Contact Info

Springfield Office:
M113 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8250

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