Koehler Map GrantsSenator Koehler visited with students from Peoria today who attend Western Illinois University. They were in Springfield to discuss the importance of state funding for higher education and the Monetary Award Program.

For more information on the Monetary Award Program, please click here.

Category: News

DicksonMounds2

Update: On Wednesday, September 30, the Dickson Mounds Museum and other state museum sites closed despite the legislature's objections. Sen. Koehler issued the following statement:

“Locking the public out of Dickson Mounds while all of the employees are still on the job makes it even more obvious that Gov. Rauner’s decision to close the state museums is based on politics, not sound public policy. Let’s be clear – the state isn’t seeing any cost savings, but businesses in Lewistown and surrounding communities are going to start seeing lost revenue.”

(End of update)

A legislative panel charged with reviewing the governor’s proposals to close state facilities gave a big thumbs down to his proposal to close the Illinois State Museum System, which includes Dickson Mounds, one of the largest and most important onsite archaeological museums in the United States. The move came a day after the Illinois Senate passed a measure requiring the state to keep the museum sites open.

“We voted to keep the museum system open because its value far outweighs its cost,” said state Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), who serves on the panel and represents Lewistown, the home of Dickson Mounds. “The Illinois State Museum System provides residents and visitors from all over the world free access to Illinois’ history and art. Dickson Mounds, for example, is one of the biggest tourist draws in Fulton County, bringing in more than 50,000 people per year.”

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Category: Press Releases

Predmore Bill SigningThe governor signed a law that would give college students the authority to allow their university to share mental health information with their parents today.

It was inspired by the Predmore family of Bartonville, who tragically lost their son Chris to suicide last year. Under previous Illinois law, his college could not talk to his parents about his mental health struggles.

A number of recent studies indicate that psychological problems are a growing issue on college campuses. For example, a survey found that 70 percent of college counseling center directors believe that the number of students with severe psychological problems has increased in recent years. Surveys of college students themselves have shown that depression and anxiety have skyrocketed over the past several decades – perhaps as many as a quarter or third of students meet criteria for anxiety or depression during college.

“If I had a child in college who was considering committing suicide, I would want to know,” said Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), who sponsored the legislation in the Illinois Senate. “For many students, college is a time of transition when mental illnesses first manifest themselves.”

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Category: Press Releases

Doctor talking to patientsIn an effort to help Illinois communities retain and recruit qualified doctors, Illinois is joining the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. A doctor licensed in one member state of the compact is able to practice medicine in every member state without taking additional tests or applying for additional licenses.

“This is about streamlining government and improving access to health care service,” said the plan’s sponsor, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria). “We want talented doctors to be able to practice in Illinois without navigating bureaucratic red tape.”

Illinois is now one of the 11 states that make up the compact. Other members include Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

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Category: Press Releases

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