03282017AM6102

“People in rural Illinois deserve to know what exactly is going to be built in their backyard.” - State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria)

SPRINGFIELD – New legislation aimed at protecting the environment in rural Illinois was unveiled at the in the Illinois Senate today. State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) unveiled a package of legislation that would make changes to the regulations governing Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs.

CAFOs are farm facilities with a large concentration of animals such as hogs. Recently, a plan for a CAFO that would hold 20,000 head of hogs in rural Fulton County was withdrawn after a considerable push back from the public.

Joined by farmers from all across the state, Koehler introduced the legislation to bring transparency to the process of planning and expanding hog farms.

“People in rural Illinois deserve to know what exactly is going to be built in their backyard,” Koehler said. “Registering these facilities and getting wastewater management plans on file are just of few of the steps we can take to make sure the public health of rural Illinoisans will be protected.”

Category: Press Releases

MPOTY 2014 Family Advocacy Program illustration showing the effects of domestic violence

"[I] hope that pressure from our districts will spur action and help pass a budget that funds important services rather than cater to special interests.” - State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria)

PEORIA – A Peoria social service provider that helps victims of domestic abuse is one of the many groups affected by a cut of $9 million in state funding.

The Center for Prevention of Abuse stands to lose $200,000 due to the cut. The organization was already owed over $400,000 by the state for previous programs the state never reimbursed them for.

Despite the lack of support from state agencies, The Center has been able to prevent service cuts thanks to conservative budgeting and community support.

Executive Director Carol Merna says The Center has had to dismantle some of their crucial services in order to cope with the budget cuts.

“The 20-month-long budget impasse in Illinois is taking a toll on our organization and those we serve,” Merna said. “Thus far we have been made to dismantle our ‘Safe from the Start’ program, a community response program dedicated to reducing trauma that very young children experience when they are exposed to violence, whether as a first-hand victim of abuse, neglect or maltreatment or as a witness of physical, emotional or sexual violence or a violent crime.”

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) says many social service providers like The Center for Prevention of Abuse that have fallen victim to the impasse in Springfield would have been funded in the bipartisan budget plan negotiated by Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) and Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont).

“Cuts like those made to the Center are unacceptable,” Koehler said. “It is my hope that pressure from our districts will spur action and help pass a budget that funds important services rather than cater to special interests.”

Director Merna added that the Center’s programs are crucial for the state

“These programs, and others like them that are teetering on the brink represent people in crisis,” Merna said. “Instead of widening the divide, we absolutely must be the bridge that ensures well-being so that everyone can contribute to our communities.”

The Center has recently begun a social media campaign to raise awareness of the cuts by urging people to take a picture with a sign that says “#iamthebridge” and posting it to social media.

Category: Press Releases

03142017AM4549

"Updating our laws...is crucial to guaranteeing fairness...I believe we should treat individuals in assisted living facilities the same way we treat individuals in nursing homes.” -State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria)

SPRINGFIELD – Legislation that would extend the homestead property tax exemption to individuals in supportive living facilities was passed out of the senate Revenue Committee yesterday.

Currently, an individual can be awarded the homestead exemption when they become a resident of a nursing home and still own their original place of residence. Senate Bill 1887 would extend that exemption to individuals with disabilities, veterans with disabilities and senior citizens when they move into a Supportive Living Program facility.

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

“Updating our laws and statutes to reflect the current times is crucial to guaranteeing fairness,” Koehler said. “That is why I believe we should treat individuals in assisted living facilities the same way we treat individuals in nursing homes.”

Senator Koehler previously passed legislation similar to SB 1887 last year that failed to pass the House of Representatives.

Category: Press Releases

03072017AM1562

“Continuing to not have a budget is unacceptable” -State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria)

SPRINGFIELD – Members of the Illinois Senate are calling on their colleagues to focus solely on solving the state’s budget crisis after the governor managed to derail a bipartisan compromise.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) says passing a budget should be everyone’s top priority.

“Continuing to not have a budget is unacceptable,” said Koehler. “I do not know how the state can survive if we do not come to a reasonable compromise.”

A budget agreement negotiated between Senate President John Cullerton and Minority Leader Christine Radogno appeared to be ready for voting on until the governor began calling off Republican senators, saying the legislation didn’t go far enough to cut spending.

This week, Koehler and other committee chairs held hearings to allow agencies under the governor’s control to show where they could cut their budgets. Administration officials were unable to offer any specifics on how much they could cut.

“Governor Rauner has never submitted a balanced budget to the General Assembly, something he is constitutionally required to do,” said Koehler.

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