022322CM0698 r1SPRINGFIELD – Legislation to include motorcycles in the discussion of electric transportation—specifically to incentivize the purchase and use of electric motorcycles—was advanced by both chambers of the General Assembly Wednesday evening.

“ABATE of Illinois is pleased the General Assembly overwhelmingly passed SB2940. When signed into law, this will ensure all motorcycles, including electric motorcycles, are included in the future of Illinois transportation,” said Ryan Hubbard, State Coordinator for ABATE of Illinois. “Motorcycles are a primary mode of transportation for thousands of riders in Illinois, and their inclusion in transportation planning is an important part of ensuring everyone can return home safe after every ride.”

When the Clean Energy Jobs Act passed in 2021 with electric vehicle language that specifically excluded motorcycles, ABATE of Illinois made it a priority to remedy the issue. The changes in Senate Bill 2940 ensure electric motorcycles are considered when planning infrastructure and provides an incentive of $1,500 towards the purchase of an electric motorcycle.

“The transition to electric vehicles will affect all forms of transportation. As a longtime supporter of motorcyclists in Illinois, I wanted to make sure they were treated equally when it came to this transition,” said State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), chief sponsor of the bill in the Senate. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done to bring together stakeholders to secure motorcycles as part of the future of transportation in Illinois.”

Senate Bill 2940 passed both chambers of the General Assembly with no opposition. The bill had over 30 Senate sponsors and 60 House sponsors.

“The unanimous bipartisan support of SB2940 by the General Assembly sends a clear message that motorcycles will continue to be accounted for when planning the future of transportation,” said Josh Witkowski, State Legislative Coordinator. “ABATE of Illinois looks forward to having the Governor sign this bill and join with the General Assembly in their support of Illinois motorcyclists.”

Having passed both chambers, Senate Bill 2940 now awaits action from the governor.

Category: Press Releases

022322CM0775 rSPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus unveiled a $1.8 billion tax relief plan on Friday that State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) acclaims as a win for families in Illinois.

“Fiscal responsibility and conscientious budgeting have allowed us to get Illinois back on track,” Koehler said. “Now that we’ve dealt with the state’s debts and deficits, it’s time to pay it forward and give a helping hand to our hardworking families.”

The new initiative puts money back in pockets by issuing relief checks valued at $100 per person and $50 per child to state taxpayers making $250,000 individually or $500,000 jointly—resulting in 97% of taxpayers receiving money by this fall. Property owners could also see up to $300 in property tax relief under the proposal.

Additional measures to address inflation and ease financial burden on families include a six-month suspension on the 1% state grocery tax and the state’s portion of the gas tax increase. A proposed sales tax holiday on clothing and footwear Aug. 5 to Aug. 14 would also offer relief for families just in time for back-to-school shopping.

“By giving back hard-earned money, we take some of the financial burden off families and keep those funds circulating in local economies,” Koehler said. “This is a win for our communities, and this is a win for Illinois.”

Senate Bill 1150 also looks to increase tax credits for teachers and volunteer first responders. The measure is expected to come to a vote before the planned legislative adjournment on April 8.

Category: Press Releases

032922HAO01048 rPEORIA - State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) offered his congratulations to Peoria native Stephen A. Kouri II on his appointment to the Illinois Human Rights Commission by Gov. JB Pritzker.

“I was pleased to learn of Steve’s appointment to the Illinois Human Rights Commission,” Koehler said. “He has been an asset to our community, and I know he will be an asset to the Commission, especially in bringing a downstate viewpoint to the table.”

Kouri was born with cerebral palsy and was the first person with that level of physical disability to graduate high school from Peoria Public Schools District 150. He went on to earn a law degree and came back to the Peoria area to practice. He is an active member of the community and a well-known advocate for others with disabilities.

“The Peoria area has benefited greatly from Steve’s leadership and dedication, and I look forward to seeing him achieve great things as an advocate for all Illinoisans,” Koehler said.

At the time of his appointment, Kouri is the only member of the commission of seven who is not a resident of Cook County. His appointment was approved in the Senate 49-0.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Dave Koehler (right) and Cesar Chavez (left)SPRINGFIELD – Inspired by the life of the late labor leader and civil rights activist César Chávez, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) sponsored a measure to make what would have been his 95th birthday César Estrada Chávez Day in Illinois.

“César Chávez was a tireless advocate for farm workers across our country,” Koehler said. “He spent his life advocating for the rights of workers—uplifting those who build and feed our country, making sure they received the dignity they deserved.”

César Chávez was born to immigrant parents on March 31, 1927 in Arizona. When his family lost their farm and became migrant workers, Chávez quit school just after completing eighth grade to work in the fields full time with his family.

Having experienced terrible working conditions and corrupt labor contracts at such a young age, Chávez dedicated his life to preventing others from undergoing the same struggles. In 1962, Chávez co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers of America.

Chávez became known nationwide for his nonviolent protest tactics and his relentless leadership. In September of 1965, he helped to organize the Delano, California grape strike, during which he and other striking workers marched 340 miles from Delano to Sacramento to bring attention to the farm workers’ need for better working conditions.

Along with the UFW, Chávez went on to pass the landmark Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975, which guaranteed California farm workers the right to organize and bargain with their employers.

“I had the privilege of working for César Chávez and the United Farm Workers for six years when I was a young adult,” Koehler said. “It was an honor then, and it is an honor today to continue his mission of ensuring the dignity of all those who labor.”

On April 23, 1993, Chávez passed away in his sleep, leaving a legacy of dedication to the working class of America. The United Farm Workers of America continues to protect its many members in his absence and works even now to ensure equal pay and fair working conditions for laborers across the country.

Category: Press Releases

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