koehler floor apr 6SPRINGFIELD – Each year, students at Pekin Community High School participate in a building trade program, where students learn construction skills and build a home, after which, the school district sells the new home and uses the revenue to fund the program the next year.

Legislation sponsored by State Senator Dave Koehler (D – Peoria) that just passed in the Senate will make the selling process much easier for the district by allowing it to use a real estate agent without first going through an auction or bid process.

“This program is a great example of self-sustainability and goes a long way in showing students the value of hard work in an important trade,” Sen. Koehler said. “By making it easier for the district to sell the homes its students build, we show support for a valuable program that engages and builds up the community in a financially independent way.”

Under current law, building trade houses must be sold the same way as other state-owned real estate is sold – a sometimes convoluted process that leaves Pekin Community High School District 303 jumping through time-consuming hoops.

The district’s ability to engage a real estate agent is contingent upon the property being publicly listed for at least two weeks.

The legislation, Senate Bill 2823, now goes to the House of Representatives.


Category: Senior Citizens

koehler floor march 16SPRINGFIELD – Students and workers rely on public transportation every day. Senator Dave Koehler (D - Peoria) and his colleagues voted to make sure these people can get to and from work, class and wherever else they need to go.

After months of tension surrounding the issue of Amtrak funding, Governor Rauner entered into a contract to keep AMTRAK operations running across Illinois. This legislation gives him the spending authority to honor this contract.

“I hope that the governor will agree to keep the state moving forward,” said Sen. Koehler. “Many students and workers across the district rely on Amtrak to live their daily lives. This legislation is a crucial step in ensuring this transportation option for years to come.”

The legislation, SB 2059, also contains funding for higher education, as well as social service agencies that have contracts with the state but weren’t covered by continuing appropriations or court orders. Now, the governor will have the power to honor these agreed upon contracts as well.

The legislation is the Senate’s latest effort to pass funds for budget items not yet dealt with during the budget impasse. The legislation is similar to House budget legislation passed earlier this month (HB 2990), but with spending authority for Amtrak and other critical services added.

The legislation now goes to the House of Representative for further action.

Category: State Government

Illinois Rural Health AssociationSince my office was notified of these scholarship opportunities and knowing how difficult it can be to finance an education, I wanted to share the following information.

To encourage students to enter the medical billing and coding field, the Illinois Rural Health Association is awarding seven $1,000 scholarships. These scholarships are being awarded in response to the demand for trained medical coding and billing experts in rural areas.

Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 15. For more information and details on how you can apply, please open the application here.

Category: Constituent Services

As part of the Honorary Page for a Day program, Senator Koehler is asking any interested students or their parents to contact his office.

The program was started to allow students to see the legislative process firsthand and to witness how a bill becomes a law.  The page will sit in the Senate Chamber and attend committees with the senator.  Session typically runs from January through May 31.  Students’ families are responsible for the cost of travel, food, and lodging.

If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Senator Koehler’s office at 309-677-0120.

Category: Honorary Page Program

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Contact Info

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

Peoria Office:
1203 East Kingman Ave.
Peoria Heights, IL 61616
(309) 677-0120

Bloomington-Normal Office:
216 N. Center St.
Bloomington, IL 61701
(309) 808-2345