jamie street dQLgop4tnsc unsplash rPEORIA – State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is promoting Work Zone Awareness Week in an effort to remind Illinoisans to take extreme caution when driving through construction zones this spring and summer.

“We’re lucky to have so many ongoing infrastructure project in the Peoria area, but this means we all have to be especially diligent when we’re in the car,” Koehler said.

The Murray Baker Bridge in Peoria is just one of several landmarks across the state that will be turning its lights orange at night in honor of those who have died in work zones and to raise awareness as the Illinois Department of Transportation begins a new construction season.

“No one should have to lose their life as a result of carelessness,” Koehler said. “I am proud to know that the City of Peoria is participating in this effort to prevent work zone deaths.”

On average, Illinois sees 6,400 work zone crashes every year, resulting in 1,700 injuries and 34 deaths. Those who wish to learn more can visit IDOT’s Work Zone page.

Category: Press Releases

04232021CM0241 rSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) passed two measures out of the Illinois Senate that would help protect and promote people’s right to grow and produce their own food.

Senate Bill 170 specifies that cities and municipalities cannot prohibit residents from growing vegetable gardens solely on the basis that they are vegetable gardens.

“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are looking to become more self-sufficient and exploring new hobbies,” Koehler said. “This legislation would protect the rights of people who want to grow their own food to feed themselves and their families.”

Towns, cities, and villages would still be able to regulate gardens and garden structures based on zoning and building code ordinances. However, they simply cannot single out vegetable gardens and related structures when passing regulations.

The other piece of legislation, Senate Bill 2007, permits cottage food operations to sell their products at farmers’ markets, fairs, festivals or public events, and additionally allows online sales. A cottage food operation is a vendor that prepares products in a home kitchen rather than a commercial kitchen. The legislation would require vendors to submit recipes or food safety plans to local public health departments to be allowed to sell their products.

“Especially in light of the financial hardships many families have faced because of the pandemic, we should be doing everything we can to help create more income opportunities,” Koehler said. “This legislation has the potential to benefit many families in the area and around the state.”

The proposal builds on the original cottage foods law passed by Koehler in 2012.

Both measures now go to the House for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

04212021HAO0537 r1SPRINGFIELD – A piece of legislation sponsored by State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) that would waive trapping license requirements for disabled veterans, returning service members and those who are terminally ill passed out of the Senate and advanced to the House on Thursday.

“This legislation is one small way that we can convey to our servicemen and women that we are grateful for the sacrifices they have made,” Koehler said. “It is always a pleasure to bring bills before my colleagues that give back to those who have given so much for us.”

Senate Bill 1533 would issue free trapping licenses to the terminally ill, disabled veterans, and returning service members. The legislation also allows an electronic copy of an existing license to be shown on a phone or mobile device in lieu of a paper copy.

The legislation will now go before the House Rules Committee.

Category: Press Releases

peoria 1584436 640 rPEORIA – State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) announced on Thursday afternoon that a $10 million grant from the Illinois Capital Development Board would be dedicated to launching Distillery Labs, the Peoria hub of the Illinois Innovation Network.

“This grant is very exciting news for the Peoria area and all of Central Illinois,” Koehler said. “This hub is certain to become a social and economic boon to our community, and I know that the Innovation Network will benefit as well from this partnership with Peoria.”

This funding comes as a part of a second wave of grants through Governor JB Pritzker’s bipartisan capital plan. The grant will facilitate the purchase and renovation of the Thomas Building in downtown Peoria, where labs, classrooms and offices will be established with a goal of improving the wellness of underserved populations and advancing systems related to food, farming and transportation.

“Illinois is a pillar in the United States’ research community, and the Peoria area is proud to play a part in upholding that reputation,” Koehler said. “I’m grateful to Governor Pritzker and CDB for this investment in our community, and I know that that this local hub of the Innovation Network will benefit families in the Peoria area for years to come.”

Category: Press Releases

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