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SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Senate voted to pass both a comprehensive infrastructure plan as well as the final pieces of the state budget today.

Assistant Majority leader Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) says both are key to bring the state to a long term place of stability.

“When you can find bipartisan solutions to keep our state budget balanced and simultaneously pass a long term road funding plan, that truly shows how far we’ve come these past few years,” Koehler said. “This budget will bring the state certainty and stability, while also modernizing our infrastructure network.”

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 123 Field Artillery Regiment of the Illinois Army National Guard were activated into service this week to assist areas affected by flooding.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), whose district is bisected by the Illinois River, issued the following statement:

“I am greatly encouraged and grateful that the governor is taking the flooding situation this seriously. I also want to thank the men and women of the Illinois National Guard who will be helping the people of my district.”

Currently 34 counties are under a disaster declaration due to flooding. The Illinois Department of Agriculture has said the percentage of crops planted is far lower than usual this year, due to the flooding.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – Illinois residents over the age of 21 will be legally allowed to purchase and consume cannabis under legislation that passed the Illinois Senate today.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) voted in favor of House Bill 1438 because he says prohibition not only hasn’t worked, but has created other societal problems.

“Our state and country should learn from the lessons that prohibition of alcohol taught us,” Koehler said. “By regulating and taxing the use of cannabis, we can take it off the street corner and put it in the empty storefront while capturing some much needed revenue.”

The legislation also provides processes for expungement of cannabis related issues and allows local cities to regulate public usage and where dispensaries can be located.

Effective January 1 of next year, Illinois residents over the age of 21 will be allowed to possess any combinations of the flowing:
• 30 grams of cannabis flower,
• 5 grams of cannabis concentrate,
• 500 milligrams of THC contained in a cannabis-infused product.

Revenue generated will be distributed in the following way:
• 2% for public education and safety campaigns,
• 8% for law enforcement funds for prevention and training to be distributed through the Local Government Distributive Fund formula,
• 25% for Recover, Reinvest, and Renew Program,
• 20% for programs that address preventative substance abuse programs and mental health services,
• 10% for the state’s bill backlog,
• 35% to the General Revenue Fund.

The legislation now goes to the House of Representatives for concurrence.

Category: Press Releases

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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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Springfield Office:
323B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8250

Peoria Office:
400 NE Jefferson, Suite 200
Peoria, IL 61603
(309) 677-0120