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PEORIA – In a letter to Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) urged an investigation into the Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak at the UAW Senior Citizen Center housing facility in Pekin.

“People at the UAW center are now living with the threat of two infectious diseases circulating in their home,” Koehler said. “This matter could spiral out of control quickly, and coupled with COVID-19 infection, it would be a disaster for the folks residing at this facility. I look forward to working alongside the IDPH, their team, and the building’s management to implement measures to address the disease.”

At the present time, residents of the 215 apartments in the facility are unable to use faucets, leaving them with filtered showerheads as their only source of water.

To follow up the letter to the IDPH, Koehler, along with his wife Nora Sullivan, matched a Salvation Army donation of 215 cases of bottled water for those impacted by the outbreak. Area residents can also assist their neighbors by dropping off water donations to the facility at 444 S Parkway Dr, Pekin, Illinois 61554.

Category: Press Releases

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New grant program available for ag businesses hit by COVID-19

PEORIA – $5 million in financial assistance will be available to livestock producers and small meat and poultry plants hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic via the Illinois Department of Agriculture, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) announced Thursday. 

Koehler, who serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee, advocated on behalf of this initiative during last spring’s budget negotiations.

“The economic wellbeing of our state depends so heavily of the success of our farmers,” Koehler said. “It’s our job to ensure our farmers with the financial resources they need to continue putting food on the table of all Illinoisans.”

The COVID-19 pandemic drastically reduced the processing of livestock throughout the state, which led to farmers holding animals for a longer period of time with further input costs and cancelled, delayed or reduced sales.

Financial assistance is available through three programs administered by the Dept. of Ag. Individuals and businesses are only eligible to apply for one program, and applicants located in a disproportionately impacted area will receive a 10% increase in funding. A list of DIA’s can be found on the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website.

Online applications are available at agr.state.il.us. Applications will close on Oct. 31, 2020. Questions about this funding can be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Category: Press Releases

TabletPEORIA – School districts in the 46th Illinois Senate District are set to receive nearly $2 million in government funding to improve students’ access to digital technology, including more than $700,000 for Peoria School District 150.

“E-learning is playing such an important role as we overcome the COVID-19 pandemic,” said State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria). “I know our local school districts will use these funds to help ensure every student has access to the technology they need to continue their education during this difficult time.”

The Digital Equity Formula Grants, funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, are intended to help schools bridge the digital divide. School districts can use the funds to expand connectivity and provide students with devices like computers or tablets.

Local school districts receiving significant funding include:

  • Peoria SD 150 - $736,257
  • Pekin PSD 108 - $223,076
  • Canton Union SD 66 - $159,905
  • Pekin CSD 303 - $130,847
  • Farmington Central CUSD 265 - $100,292

Bartonville SD 66, Creve Coeur SD 76, East Peoria CHSD 309, Lewistown CUSD 97, Limestone CHSD 310, Monroe SD 70, North Pekin and Marquette Heights SD 102, Norwood ESD 63, Pleasant Hill SD 69, and Pleasant Valley SD 62 will also receive money to help their students.

Funding was distributed using a need-based formula. The full list of schools receiving funds is available on the Illinois State Board of Education’s website.

Category: Press Releases

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PEORIA – To curb the devastating economic effects brought on by COVID-19, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is encouraging small business owners to apply for the second round of Business Interruption Grants.

“With the first round of Business Interruption Grants, several local businesses received financial relief and were able to keep their doors open,” Koehler said. “With so many businesses still struggling to maintain operations, it’s doubly important that the state continues to step up to help however possible.”

Applications for the second round of the Business Interruption Grants (BIG) program will be made available this Thursday afternoon and will offer $220 million in funds for small businesses hit hardest by the ongoing pandemic.

The second wave of funds from BIG aims to provide relief for all types of small businesses, with a focus on businesses located downstate or in disproportionately impacted areas. Application information for the second round of funds and can be found on DCEO’s website at Illinois.gov/dceo.

Category: Press Releases

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