PEORIA – Governor Bruce Rauner has vetoed landmark legislation that would rewrite Illinois’ unfair school funding formula. State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) issued the following statement:

“I am profoundly disappointed that the governor has vetoed this new formula that would guarantee all schools are fairly funded. Despite the governor’s veto, I believe that negotiations should continue in order to fix the formula. Should those talks fail, I support overriding the governor’s veto.”

Category: Press Releases


"It is time to stop pitting one part of the state against the other for political purposes.” - State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria)

PEORIA – Governor Bruce Rauner has once again called for a special session of the Illinois General Assembly. The governor has said he will veto a school funding reform measure supported by over one hundred school superintendents and dozens of school districts.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) issued the following statement:

“Governor Rauner has demonstrated once again that he favors campaigning over governing. Rather than focusing on how he could work constructively with the General Assembly, he calls Blagojevich-style special sessions that only waste taxpayers’ dollars.

“I am calling on the governor to sign a bill that his own administration says he supports 90% of. It is time to stop pitting one part of the state against the other for political purposes.”

Category: Press Releases


SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate voted today for a balanced budget that would end the budget impasse plaguing the state. State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) issued the following statement:

“Today’s vote in Springfield was one of the most important votes I’ve ever taken. This budget impasse has made far too many of my fellow Illinois residents suffer. Now that we have a comprehensive balanced budget, we can begin to put the pieces of our state back together.

“We must also continue to work on reforms with our Republican colleagues. It is has always been the goal of the Senate Democrats to pass both a budget and reforms that will help move the state forward.”

Category: Press Releases

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“The way we are going to build our economy and create jobs is by investing in things like our local infrastructure.” State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria)

SPRINGFIELD – Dozens of road projects that run out of funding on July 1 would be funded by a budget already passed by the Illinois Senate, according to one state senator.

Last week, the Illinois Department of Transportation warned contractors that without a budget in place, they would no longer be paid. IDOT estimates that the work stoppage would put more than 25,000 people out of work statewide.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) says that a plan passed by the Senate would fund IDOT’s capital budget, preventing the almost 700 projects valued at $2.3 billion from shutting down.

“I do not see how shutting down key infrastructure upgrades makes Illinois more business-friendly,” Koehler said. “While the governor has crisscrossed the state trying to focus attention away from his failed tenure, the Illinois Senate actually passed a balanced budget that provides stability.”

In the Peoria area, road work on Illinois 116 east of Hanna City and on the Shade-Lohman Bridge (Interstate 474) would be among those shut down, delaying the completion of the projects and adding to the costs.

Just outside Lake Camelot, work replacing the unsafe Lancaster Bridge over Lamarsh Creek would cease. The bridge, which has almost 4,000 cars cross it every day, has been closed since May 2016 after Peoria County engineers declared it was unsafe.

That project is 80 percent funded by IDOT. According to the Peoria County Highway Department, contractors would not be paid for work after June 30 because of the budget impasse.

Without the bridge completed, the 600-house Lake Camelot community must take a detour that adds 20 minutes and more than 12 miles to any trips they make to nearby Bartonville.

It is estimated that more than 1,200 workers would be out of a job if the active projects were closed, hurting the local economy.

“These projects put money into the pockets of hard-working central Illinois residents,” Koehler said. “The governor has effectively said he cares more about his political agenda than he does about the livelihoods of workers.”

Under the Senate’s budget, funding would also be allocated for projects that IDOT has requested funding for the next fiscal year. Those projects are valued at $38.65 million in the Peoria area alone.

“The way we are going to build our economy and create jobs is by investing in things like our local infrastructure,” Koehler said. “These projects will bring much needed repairs but also stimulate the local economy.”

This comes as the General Assembly returns to Springfield tomorrow for a special session called by the governor. Rauner had counted on the Senate passing a bipartisan package of reforms along with a budget to fill the nearly $5 billion deficit he proposed.

When the package of reforms appeared to be nearly complete, the governor intervened and forced Republican senators to vote against the legislation they negotiated.

“The Senate’s budget spends the exact same amount of money as the governor’s budget,” Koehler said. “Unfortunately, the governor decided that if he can’t get everything he wants, no one can.”

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