co responder signing r rPEORIA – A new law backed by State Senator Dave Koehler to establish the Co-Responder Pilot Program in an effort to offer crisis management and emotional support to survivors of crime was signed Tuesday afternoon.

“Addressing crime and violence in our communities requires a dynamic approach,” said Koehler (D-Peoria). “This program takes a fresh look at ways to provide support to survivors to ensure no one falls through the cracks or goes without assistance.”

The new law, formerly House Bill 4736, requires police departments in Peoria, East St. Louis, Springfield and Waukegan to establish a co-responder unit of social workers responsible for conducting follow-up visits for victims who may benefit from mental or behavioral health services, connecting survivors with appropriate resources, and providing other necessary assistance. Mental health professionals additionally have the potential to both deescalate situations as they occur and reduce recurrent calls for assistance by helping to identify and address the root causes of many overarching issues.

The legislation also includes the creation of a Crime Reduction Task Force to develop and propose policies and procedures to reduce crime in Illinois, an expansion of the Gang Crime Witness Protection Act to create the Violent Crime Witness Protection Fund, and guidance for instruction on victim-centered and trauma-informed investigation training for homicide investigators.

“In the aftermath of a crime, especially violent, traumatic crimes, survivors may not know where to turn for support,” said Koehler. “By implementing the Co-Responder Pilot Program, we make necessary resources accessible to survivors in need.”

The Co-Responder Pilot Program and other provisions of the legislation are effective immediately.

Category: Press Releases

EOS Quote Koehler LargeText

SPRINGFIELD – In response to the Senate’s approval of a budget and tax relief plan that prioritize working families and put money back into communities, State Senator Koehler (D-Peoria) issued the following statement:

“Over the last two years Illinoisans across the state have displayed grit and resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges, and I am proud to support a budget that offers recovery measures for our state and the people in it.

“Not only does this budget pay off many of our debts and allocate ample funds to all of our biggest priorities, our state pensions and the Rainy Day fund, but it also puts hard-earned money back in the pockets of people across Illinois.

“This budget ensures future economic security for working people across our state.”

Category: Press Releases

033122HAO00232 rSPRINGFIELD – On Thursday, the Illinois Senate advanced a measure backed by State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) to establish the Co-Responder Pilot Program in an effort to offer crisis management and emotional support to victims of crime.

“As we work to prevent crime and address its root causes, we need to make sure we’re also minimizing harm and trauma in situations where crime has already occurred,” Koehler said. “The Co-Responder program offers a helping hand to survivors when it comes to locating and accessing important resources in the days and weeks following an incident.”

Under House Bill 4736, police departments in Peoria, East St. Louis, Springfield and Waukegan would be required to establish a co-responder unit of social workers responsible for conducting follow-up visits for victims who may benefit from mental or behavioral health services, connecting survivors with appropriate services, and providing other necessary assistance.

The Co-Responder Pilot Program is just one of several provisions included in the legislation, such as the creation of a Crime Reduction Task Force to develop and propose policies and procedures to reduce crime in Illinois, an expansion of the Gang Crime Witness Protection Act to create the Violent Crime Witness Protection Fund, and guidance for instruction on victim-centered and trauma-informed investigation for homicide investigator training.

“Undergoing trauma caused by a crime, especially crimes of a violent nature, can be a very isolating experience,” Koehler said. “Friends, family, or neighbors may not know how to best help and support survivors. By bringing in a team of licensed professionals who are trained for this very thing, we offer survivors the best chance to grow and heal in the aftermath of a crime.”

The legislation now awaits further action.

Category: Press Releases

022322CM0698 r1SPRINGFIELD – Legislation to include motorcycles in the discussion of electric transportation—specifically to incentivize the purchase and use of electric motorcycles—was advanced by both chambers of the General Assembly Wednesday evening.

“ABATE of Illinois is pleased the General Assembly overwhelmingly passed SB2940. When signed into law, this will ensure all motorcycles, including electric motorcycles, are included in the future of Illinois transportation,” said Ryan Hubbard, State Coordinator for ABATE of Illinois. “Motorcycles are a primary mode of transportation for thousands of riders in Illinois, and their inclusion in transportation planning is an important part of ensuring everyone can return home safe after every ride.”

When the Clean Energy Jobs Act passed in 2021 with electric vehicle language that specifically excluded motorcycles, ABATE of Illinois made it a priority to remedy the issue. The changes in Senate Bill 2940 ensure electric motorcycles are considered when planning infrastructure and provides an incentive of $1,500 towards the purchase of an electric motorcycle.

“The transition to electric vehicles will affect all forms of transportation. As a longtime supporter of motorcyclists in Illinois, I wanted to make sure they were treated equally when it came to this transition,” said State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), chief sponsor of the bill in the Senate. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done to bring together stakeholders to secure motorcycles as part of the future of transportation in Illinois.”

Senate Bill 2940 passed both chambers of the General Assembly with no opposition. The bill had over 30 Senate sponsors and 60 House sponsors.

“The unanimous bipartisan support of SB2940 by the General Assembly sends a clear message that motorcycles will continue to be accounted for when planning the future of transportation,” said Josh Witkowski, State Legislative Coordinator. “ABATE of Illinois looks forward to having the Governor sign this bill and join with the General Assembly in their support of Illinois motorcyclists.”

Having passed both chambers, Senate Bill 2940 now awaits action from the governor.

Category: Press Releases

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