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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PEORIA – State agencies and local government entities will be allowed to use Blockchain technologies to provide certain services under legislation being considered at the Illinois General Assembly.

Assistant Majority Leader Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is co-sponsoring House Bill 3575 because he believes it could revolutionize the way government services are provided.

“It seems like every month we hear about data breaches that have compromised the personal information of hundreds of thousands of consumers,” Koehler said. “By employing this technology at the local and state level we could protect private data as well as connect state agencies and local governments better than ever.”

Blockchain is an emerging technology that uses sequences of blocks or groups of transactions that are chained together. The chains serve as a record of the transactions that validates the authenticity and integrity of the data.

Under the provisions of HB 3575, state and local governments would be permitted to use Blockchain for smart contracts, storing vital records, evidence in court proceedings and satisfaction of legal written requirements and signature requirements.

Potential uses for the technology at the government level include land title registration, supply chain auditing, file storage, data management, anti-money laundering, identity managements and neighborhood micro-grids.

The measure recently passed out of the Senate Telecommunications Committee and now waits for a full vote in the Senate.

Category: Press Releases


SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate voted today to ask the voters if the state should change the way it taxes income.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) joined his colleagues in supporting Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 1, which would allow the state to implement a fair tax system.

“A minimum wage worker in the Peoria area shouldn’t pay the same tax rate as a millionaire,” Koehler said. “By adopting this amendment, we can make the needed changes to keep our budget balanced and invest in needed improvements to our infrastructure, schools and colleges.”

Under the current Illinois Constitution adopted in 1970, income can only be taxed at a flat rate, meaning a person making $25,000 a year pays the same tax rate as a person making $1 million. Of the 41 states with income taxes, only 9 have a flat tax. The rest tax income at a graduated rate, meaning higher income earners pay higher rates.

“Under the proposed rates of Senate Bill 687, 99.2% of my district will get a tax break or pay the same,” Koehler added.

SJRCA 1 passed the Senate and now goes onto the Illinois House.

Category: Press Releases

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

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