HB 633 Koehler

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois residents will have their right to grow vegetable gardens protected thanks to legislation presented by State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) that was signed into law Friday.

“Every Illinoisan should have the option to grow their own food and increase their self-sufficiency without unnecessary oversight or regulations,” Koehler said. “I’m glad to see this legislation signed into law as I know it will expand options for people across the state when it comes to providing for themselves and their families.”

This legislation creates the Vegetable Garden Protection Act, which establishes the right to grow a vegetable garden on private property, and prevents municipalities from prohibiting the cultivation of vegetable gardens absent any other concerns. The bill was presented in response to an Illinois municipality telling a resident that she was not permitted to grow a garden in her own backyard. Cities still maintain their ability to set regulations for gardens and garden structures based on building code ordinances and zoning. The legislation solely prevents municipalities from singling out gardens when regulations are established.

The Vegetable Garden Protection Act will go into effect January 1, 2022.

Category: Press Releases

pexels kaique rocha 331990 sPEORIA – State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) announced an expanded state program will help connect Peoria-area small businesses to financial assistance to help them recover from COVID-19.

“Our community is built on small businesses,” Koehler said. “They were hit hardest by the pandemic, and we need to make sure that they have the resources they need to recover and move forward.”

The community navigator outreach program, which helps connect small businesses to economic recovery grant programs, is expanding to include an additional 13 support organizations across the state, which were selected through a competitive process.

Navigator organizations will perform extensive outreach to small and hard-to-reach businesses to ensure that they are aware of the relief available to them, and will provide one-on-one assistance on relief grant applications.

“I would like to thank the Economic Development Council for the Peoria Area and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation for stepping up and being a resource to small businesses in the Peoria area,” Koehler said. “I want to see as many local entrepreneurs as possible get back on their feet.”

Small businesses can visit the DECO website or call (800) 252-2923 to learn more about recovery programs available to them.

Category: Press Releases

pexels styves exantus 6357617 rPEORIA – State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) announced that fire protection districts across the district will receive nearly $140,000 in grant funding to purchase necessary equipment.

“When our first responders have reliable and well-maintained equipment, they are able to address emergencies as efficiently as possible,” Koehler said. “By ensuring that the men and women who protect us have necessary equipment, we are keeping our communities and our first responders safer.”

The funding comes as part of the Small Equipment Grant Program, which was established to provide grants of up to $26,000 each for the purchase of small firefighting and ambulance equipment.

Local departments will receive the following amounts:

Cass-Putnam Rescue Service- $25,839
Copperas Creek Fire Protection District- $17,000
Peoria Heights Fire Department- $25,660
Cincinnati Fire Protection District- $24,774.76
North Pekin Fire Department- $21,741
Schaeferville Fire Protection District- $24,130.30

“Departments have had to make tough financial decisions, especially this year during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez. “Ensuring our first responders in Illinois have properly functioning lifesaving equipment they need to perform their duties safely, while protecting their communities, is our top priority.”

A full list of grant recipients can be viewed here.

Category: Press Releases

Illinois House of Representatives rSPRINGFIELD – An initiative sponsored by State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) to address the backlog of FOID card applications, which negatively affects responsible gun owners, passed out of the House on Wednesday.

“The backlog of FOID applications creates unnecessary hassles for responsible gun owners—a concern which has been raised to me by many people,” Koehler said. “It also creates extra work for the Illinois State Police, whose first priority should be keeping firearms out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves and others.”

The measure would help keep communities safe by enhancing existing background check protocols. Safe and responsible gun owners will have the option to voluntarily submit fingerprints to the Illinois State Police in order to obtain automatic renewals on their cards. Electronic copies of both FOID cards and concealed carry licenses will also be made available to make it easier for lawful gun owners to keep their license with them at all times.

“We have to keep our communities safe by preventing guns from falling into dangerous hands, while at the same time not infringing on the rights of responsible gun owners,” Koehler said. “This legislation helps achieve both goals.”

House Bill 562 passed the House with 75 votes.

Category: Press Releases

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Contact Info

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

Peoria Office:
400 NE Jefferson, Suite 200
Peoria, IL 61603
(309) 677-0120