ATV VermontPEORIA – Owners of all-terrain vehicles will be protected when using their vehicles on private property under a new law proposed by State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

In 2012, the Illinois General Assembly passed a law to help finance the Department of Natural Resources through a series of new and expanded fees – part of an effort to keep the desperately underfunded agency afloat. However, after hearing from a number of ATV owners who believe the fees for all-terrain vehicles are unfair, Koehler began working with DNR to find a solution that ensures the agency gets the funding it needs while ATV owners get a better deal.

"The Department of Natural Resources plays a vital role in keeping state parks and wildlife areas open for Illinois families, and we need to make sure it has adequate funding," Koehler said. "But the 2012 law asked too much of ATV owners. We need to fix this problem."

The flawed 2012 law failed to differentiate between golf carts, vehicles used by people with disabilities and ATVs used in state and local parks and preserves. It also charged a flat fee for all ATVs, failing to differentiate between adult ATVs and vehicles used by children.

Koehler's plan (Senate Bill 2633) cuts the current $15 registration fee down to $10 for vehicles with smaller than 75 cc engines (normally used by children). It also provides clear exemptions for golf carts, vehicles for people with disabilities, ATVs used by governments and ATVs used by farmers. It clarifies that ATVs used only on a family's own property are also exempt, as are vehicles used only in ATV competitions.

In addition, DNR has pledged to use much of the money raised by the new fee to develop and maintain ATV trails on state property. This new money allows the agency to qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal matching funds.

"When ATV owners pay these fees, they should get something out of it," Koehler said. "New, improved, better maintained ATV trails will be a great family-friendly resource that should help raise the profile of Illinois' state parks."

Category: Press Releases

CANTON – State Senator Dave Koehler's district office director, Jennifer Allison, will be holding satellite office hours in Canton on Thursday, December 5. The purpose of the event is to allow local residents to discuss state-government issues in person without travelling to Peoria.

  • Location: City Hall, Director's room on lower level
  • Address: 2 North Main St., Canton, IL
  • Time: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

 

Senator Koehler's district office in Peoria is located at 400 NE Jefferson St., Suite 200. It is normally open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Area residents who are seeking assistance can also call the district office at 309-677-0120 or the senator's Springfield office at 217-782-8250

 

Category: Press Releases

eatlocalSPRINGFIELD – A new law sponsored by State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) will encourage Illinois residents to buy local by making the first Saturday of each month "Eat Local, Buy Illinois Products Day."

Illinois Products Days will fit into the Illinois Department of Agriculture's larger challenge to get more people to buy Illinois products. According to the department, if each household in Illinois spent $10 on Illinois products each week, the people of Illinois would be reinvesting more than $2.4 billion in the state economy each year.

"When you buy Illinois products, you put money right back into your friends and neighbors' pockets," Koehler said. "People talk a lot about outsourcing – think of this as insourcing."

Several years ago, the General Assembly passed a law creating an Illinois products logo – a special design used to indicate products grown or produced right here in Illinois. Now that it's easy to identify Illinois products, Koehler wants to encourage people to do more.

"Even if it's just once a month, try to go to a restaurant that cooks food raised by local farmers," Koehler said. "Go to a farmers market. Go to a grocery store that labels the food it gets from local producers. There are so many ways to give back to local businesses. Let's create jobs here in Illinois."

Gov. Pat Quinn signed the bill into law on Aug. 13.

Category: Press Releases

hunting-deer-mdPEORIA – A new law sponsored by State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) strongly encourages hunters to donate the meat from the game animals they kill if they aren't going to eat it themselves.

"It's very easy for hunters to donate meat to charity if they don't want to eat it themselves or share it with friends and family," Koehler said. "Most responsible hunters already make sure that the animals they kill don't go to waste – we just want to encourage everyone to do the same."

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources operates the highly successful Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger Program, which allows hunters to donate venison and other meat to food banks and other charities throughout Illinois. The program has provided 3.5 million meals to hungry families. To learn more about the program or to find a local participating meat processor, visit www.dnr.illinois.gov.

"I've seen hunters leave three or four partially butchered deer along the road, in view of everyone that drives by. We hope to encourage hunters to donate deer to the Sportsmen against Hunger program," said Sgt. Jamie Mauler, who works for the department.

Specifically, Koehler's proposal:

  • Prohibits throwing away edible, easily processed meat from game animals that hunters don't want to keep for themselves. This specifically includes unspoiled breast meat of birds and front and back haunches of mammals.
  • Prohibits dumping or abandoning the carcasses of animals killed by hunters on public property (or private property without the permission of the owner).
  • Establishes that violators of this law can be charged with a Class B Misdemeanor.
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