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“With more social workers in schools, we may be able to catch learning deficiencies early and help children grow.” - State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria)

SPRINGFIELD – Local schools will be allowed to hire more social workers under legislation passed in the Illinois Senate today. House Bill 826 would allow schools to employ enough social workers to meet the nationally recommended social worker to student ratio of 250:1.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is the legislation’s sponsor in the Senate.

“We are not forcing schools to hire more social workers in an unfunded mandate,” Koehler said. “All we are saying is if schools want to use their resources to reach the recommended ratio of social workers to students, then we should allow them to do so.”

Past research has shown that diverse students such as those with disabilities or minorities are at a greater risk of having mental health challenges but less likely to receive the necessary services. With more social workers in schools, the hope is that those services will be more easily accessible.

“With more social workers in schools, we may be able to catch learning deficiencies early and help children grow,” Koehler said. “These selfless individuals are crucial to helping struggling students get on the path to success.”

According to the School Social Work Association of America, school social workers provide evidence-based education, behavior and mental health services to students.

The legislation passed both the House and Senate unanimously.

 

Category: Press Releases

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“If and when we find these types of regulations, we should do everything we can to free those businesses from the burdensome redundancies.” - State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria)

SPRINGFIELD – A redundant food handling certificate required by the state will be no more under legislation passed by the Illinois Senate. House Bill 3684 would eliminate the certificate and $35 fee, helping small business owners and workers.

Currently, the Illinois Department of Public Health requires workers to complete an approved training program and pass an exam provided by an accredited exam provider. After the person passes the exam and pays for the national certificate, they are required to electronically send that certificate to the state and pay $35 for an Illinois specific certificate.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) sponsored the legislation that would eliminate the $35 fee.

“Redundant regulations make it difficult to manage the day-to-day operations of their business instead of focusing on growing,” said Koehler, a former small business owner himself. “If and when we find these types of regulations, we should do everything we can to free those businesses from the burdensome redundancies.”

The measure passed the Senate without opposition.

Category: Press Releases

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“The men and women of our armed forces who gave their last full measure of devotion to their country represent the purest form of honor and duty.” - State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria)

SPRINGFIELD – A portion of Route 78 will be named after an Illinois soldier is was killed in Afghanistan last year. The portion of the state highway between Canton and Farmington will be renamed the “Sgt. Douglas Riney Memorial Highway” under House Joint Resolution 43.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) sponsored the resolution in the Senate while State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) sponsored it in the House.

“The men and women of our armed forces who gave their last full measure of devotion to their country represent the purest form of honor and duty,” Koehler said. “The people of Fulton County and central Illinois will remember soldiers like Sergeant Riney every time they drive down this highway, guaranteeing they will never be forgotten.”

Sgt. Riney was serving with the 3rd Cavalry Regiment when he was killed in the Afghan capital of Kabul. Riney had been in the Army since 2012.

Riney was a native of Fairview and had previously worked as a volunteer firefighter for the Fairview Fire Protection District.

A full copy of the resolution can be found here.

Category: Press Releases

housing

“This grant is just one of the many ways we can guarantee our residents have safe, sanitary and stable neighborhoods that will improve our community." - State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria)

SPRINGFIELD – The city of Canton is receiving a block grant for housing from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The agency announced that 19 communities altogether would receive a combined $7.23 million.

Canton will receive a total of $315,900 to be used to help improve the availability of affordable housing for low- and middle-income families. The grant will also be used to rehabilitate and retrofit residential properties.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), who represents Canton in the Illinois Senate, says the grant is great news for Fulton County’s largest city.

“Affordable housing is one of the many keys to economic growth and development,” Koehler said. “This grant is just one of the many ways we can guarantee our residents have safe, sanitary and stable neighborhoods that will improve our community."

The grant is from the Community Development Block Grant program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Illinois DCEO uses the grants to assist Illinois communities in meeting their greatest needs in economic and community development.

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