“When we can find redundancies that we all agree should be eliminated, we should make it a point to do so as quickly as possible.” - State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria)

SPRINGFIELD – A redundant food handling certificate required by the state will be no more under legislation being considered by the Illinois Senate. House Bill 3684 will eliminate the certificate, helping small business owners and workers.

Currently, the Illinois Department of Public Health requires workers to complete an approved training program and pass an exam provided by an accredited exam provider. After the person pays for and passes the exam and secures the national certificate, they are required to electronically send the national certificate to the state and pay $35 for an Illinois specific certificate.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is in favor of eliminating the $35 fee and is the legislation’s sponsor.

“Small businesses are caught in a web of local, state and federal regulations that make it difficult to manage the day-today activities of their business,” said Koehler, a former small business owner himself. “When we can find redundancies that we all agree should be eliminated, we should make it a point to do so as quickly as possible.”

The measure passed out of the Public Health Committee and now goes to the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases


"This legislation intends to restore trust between hard working immigrants seeking a better life and selfless police officers protecting our community.” - State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria)

SPRINGFIELD – Legislation designed to restore trust between immigrant communities and the police was passed by the Illinois Senate today.

Senate bill 31, also known as the TRUST Act, would require federal immigration officials to have a criminal warrant before entering schools, medical facilities and facilities owned by the Secretary of State to make an arrest. The legislation also prohibits using any state or local resources to help create a federal registry based on race, national origin, religion or other protected classes.

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

“This country was built by and for immigrants searching for a better life, not only for themselves, but more importantly for their children. Immigrants should not be fearful of contacting the police because they are afraid of deportation. This legislation intends to restore trust between hard working immigrants seeking a better life and selfless police officers protecting our community.”

Category: Press Releases

03022017AM0746cSPRINGFIELD – Legislation protecting consumers from deceptive leases passed the Illinois Senate today. Senate bill 885 would protect renters from “Rent-to-own” schemes that are often fraught with deceptive terms and conditions that can be costly to consumers.

In a survey of housing counselors around the state conducted by Housing Action Illinois, only 12% of counselors reported that they felt that people considering rent-to-own homeownership opportunities well understand the differences between rent-to-own and homeownership with a mortgage.

The new legislation would seek to address that lack of understanding by creating the Installment Sales Contract Act. Among the new protections is a requirement that a payment schedule is to be given to the buyer prior to closing, a prohibition on prepayment penalties and a requirement for a written contract with information about ballooning payments.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), the legislation’s sponsor, issued the following statement following the passage of SB 885:

“Consumers should have as much information as possible when making one of the most important decisions of their lives. The deceptive practices often found in ‘rent-to-own’ contracts set renters up for a rude awakening. That is why we crafted legislation that seeks to bring more transparency and information to the process.”

The measure now moves on to the House of Representatives.

Category: Press Releases

05032017CM0159SPRINGFIELD – A new Department of Corrections facility would help women who have been incarcerated return to their communities under legislation being considered at the Senate.

The facility, known as the Peoria Women’s Community Transformation Center, will provide housing, case management, social and educational services, hands-on training in construction skills and other types of vocational training, plus a pool of jobs created through the work of the Community Transformation Institute and its partners.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is the sponsor of the legislation that would create the facility.

“As we start to understand more and more about recidivism, we must create programs that will make it easier for people to reintegrate into society,” Koehler said. “This facility will provide a safe environment where women can learn skills that will benefit them for a lifetime.”

Senator Koehler has worked with Rev. Tony Pierce to make the facility a reality.

“I want to thank Senator Koehler for sponsoring this measure that is vital to the Peoria community and Illinois in general,” Pierce said. “With more people coming out of jail as we try to address overcrowded prisons, they will fall prey to recidivism without programs in place like the Women’s Community Transformation Center.”

The facility will be located at the Travelodge Hotel on Brandywine Drive in Peoria. The facility will serve as a post-sentence option for women who will be more successful in their transition to society if they are involved in a holistic, case-managed, graduated re-entry program.

Senate bill 740 is currently in a key Senate budget committee.

Category: Press Releases

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