capitolA proposed law that would allow college students to sign off on their universities sharing mental health information with their parents cleared an Illinois Senate committee today, paving its way for a final vote in the General Assembly.

It was inspired by the Predmore family of Bartonville, who tragically lost their son Chris to suicide last year. Under current 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 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.

“I don’t know any parents who wouldn’t want to be involved if their children were struggling with a mental illness,” said Senator Dave Koehler, who is sponsoring the legislation. “If we make it easier for college officials and parents to communicate, we might be able to reduce suffering and even save lives.”

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Category: Press Releases

doctorIn an effort to help Illinois communities retain and recruit qualified doctors, the Illinois Senate voted to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. A doctor licensed in one member state of the compact would be 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. "We want talented doctors to be able to practice in Illinois without navigating bureaucratic red tape."

The compact would go into effect once seven states adopt it. If the measure becomes law, Illinois would be in the vanguard of early adopters. Several other states are also considering legislation this year.

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Category: Press Releases

PeoriaRiverFrontState Senator Dave Koehler joined Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis at a Senate committee hearing to support extending a successful economic development program that has benefited the Peoria community.

At issue is the River Edge Historic Tax Credit, which was created in 2012 to help riverfront communities restore historically significant waterfront properties. The program is scheduled to end next year, so river’s edge communities throughout Illinois are trying to convince the General Assembly of its value.

“Illinois’ cities grew up along rivers,” Koehler said. “That means waterfront properties are often historically significant. It also means that they often need a lot of work. This economic development program has helped us create jobs in our local communities, protect landmarks and revitalize waterfront neighborhoods.”

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Category: Press Releases

Lewistown High SchoolState Senator Dave Koehler visited Lewistown Community High School to meet with the principal and teachers to discuss some of the school's challenges and successes. Koehler's conversations focused on the school district's financial challenges and innovative vocational programs. To learn more, read this Canton Daily Ledger article.

The Lewistown High School's woodshop program, one of the classes Koehler visited, is looking for lumber donations to stretch the school's resources. If you would like to help, you can drop off unwanted lumber at the school.

Category: Press Releases

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