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SPRINGFIELD – 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 chief co-sponsors of Senate Bill 9 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.

Category: Press Releases

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PEORIA – State agencies and local government entities will be allowed to use Blockchain technologies to provide certain services under legislation being considered at the Illinois General Assembly.

Assistant Majority Leader Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is co-sponsoring House Bill 3575 because he believes it could revolutionize the way government services are provided.

“It seems like every month we hear about data breaches that have compromised the personal information of hundreds of thousands of consumers,” Koehler said. “By employing this technology at the local and state level we could protect private data as well as connect state agencies and local governments better than ever.”

Blockchain is an emerging technology that uses sequences of blocks or groups of transactions that are chained together. The chains serve as a record of the transactions that validates the authenticity and integrity of the data.

Under the provisions of HB 3575, state and local governments would be permitted to use Blockchain for smart contracts, storing vital records, evidence in court proceedings and satisfaction of legal written requirements and signature requirements.

Potential uses for the technology at the government level include land title registration, supply chain auditing, file storage, data management, anti-money laundering, identity managements and neighborhood micro-grids.

The measure recently passed out of the Senate Telecommunications Committee and now waits for a full vote in the Senate.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate voted today to ask the voters if the state should change the way it taxes income.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) joined his colleagues in supporting Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 1, which would allow the state to implement a fair tax system.

“A minimum wage worker in the Peoria area shouldn’t pay the same tax rate as a millionaire,” Koehler said. “By adopting this amendment, we can make the needed changes to keep our budget balanced and invest in needed improvements to our infrastructure, schools and colleges.”

Under the current Illinois Constitution adopted in 1970, income can only be taxed at a flat rate, meaning a person making $25,000 a year pays the same tax rate as a person making $1 million. Of the 41 states with income taxes, only 9 have a flat tax. The rest tax income at a graduated rate, meaning higher income earners pay higher rates.

“Under the proposed rates of Senate Bill 687, 99.2% of my district will get a tax break or pay the same,” Koehler added.

SJRCA 1 passed the Senate and now goes onto the Illinois House.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – Legislation intended to protect the credit card and bank account numbers of government entities was passed by State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) today.

“This is one of those pieces of legislation that is hard to believe needed to happen,” Koehler said. “We must take every precaution to protect these credit cards from getting misused or worse, stolen.”

The legislation, Senate Bill 1712, would exempt credit card numbers, debit card numbers, bank account numbers, Federal Employer Identification Number, security code numbers, passwords, and similar account information from Freedom of Information Act Requests if it is believed the disclosure could result in identity theft or the defrauding of a government entity.

SB 1712 passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the House of Representatives.

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