04132021CM0111rSPRINGFIELD – On Wednesday morning, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) held a press conference alongside State Representative Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville) and Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly to discuss his legislation to modernize Firearms Owner Identification cards in Illinois.

“Our goal is to ensure that we are keeping firearms out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves and others,” Koehler said. “Our goal is not, however, to hassle safe, responsible gun owners. Through the modernization and streamlining of the FOID card process, I believe we can successfully accomplish both of our objectives.”

Senate Bill 1165, an initiative of the ISP, would create a prohibited persons portal to help law enforcement identify people whose FOID cards have been revoked, create a review board to respond to revocations and denials, and make other significant changes to make the process more efficient.

“Again and again, we see we should be using less of our resources on an antiquated, outdated, inefficient, ineffective renewal process from the 1960s and more on enforcement against real threats to public safety,” said ISP Director Brendan Kelly. “Our people believe in building a system that makes it hard for the bad guys and simple and safe for the good guys, but we need authority from the legislature to untangle, streamline and integrate the aging patchwork of FOID, concealed carry, and background checks if we are going to fulfill this mission.”

This legislation has been assigned to the Senate Executive Committee.

Category: Press Releases

pexels cdc 3992949 rPEORIA– State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is announcing that local school districts will receive over nearly $155 million in additional funding to help address the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Making sure that our educators and our school districts have the necessary resources is absolutely vital,” Koehler said. “Teachers and students have worked together to adapt to a new way of learning, and it is our job as legislators to support them in that endeavor however we can.”

The funding comes as part of the most recent federal COVID-19 relief packages. Schools, students and parents have overcome challenges that no one could have imagined before the pandemic began, including remote and hybrid learning, digital connection issues, new processes for receiving state and federal aid that normally flow through schools, and more.

District 46 schools are set to receive the following amounts:
• Peoria SD 150 - $98,210,513
• Peoria Heights CUSD 325 - $3,227,140
• Pleasant Valley SD 62 - $4,114,907
• Limestone CHSD 310 - $2,261,299
• Farmington Central CUSD 265 - $2,016,145
• Norwood ESD 63 - $1,298,001
• Pleasant Hill SD 69 - $1,245,661
• Illini Bluffs CUSD 327 - $993,115
• Oak Grove SD 68 Bartonville - $876,678
• Bartonville SD 66 - $805,793
• Monroe SD 70 - $364,434
• Limestone Walters CCSD 316 - $154,770
• Hollis Cons SD 328 - $17,653
• Canton Union SD 66 - $8,228,314
• CUSD 3 Fulton County - $1,443,772
• Lewistown CUSD 97 - $1,427,684
• Spoon River Valley CUSD 4 - $707,590
• Pekin PSD 108 - $9,926,176
• East Peoria SD 86 - $3,822,131
• Pekin CSD 303 - $3,675,791
• Creve Coeur SD 76 - $2,421,154
• East Peoria CHSD 309 - $2,011,983
• District 50 Schools - $1,962,066
• N Pekin & Marquette Hght SD 102 - $1,173,413
• South Pekin SD 137 - $708,609
• Rankin CSD 98 - $322,433
• Spring Lake CCSD 606 - $287,392

The majority of the funding comes from the American Rescue Plan, which gives local schools a great deal of flexibility in how they can use the money over the next 3 ½ years. At least 20% of the funding must be used to address learning loss, but beyond that, school districts can use the money to address many different issues and costs. For example, it can be used to better equip schools for safe learning, to prevent layoffs, to address students’ social and emotional needs, to fund summer programs, or to ensure all students have access to reliable Wi-Fi and technology.

The State Board of Education, in collaboration with other state agencies that address education, has produced a guide for local school districts to help them decide how to best use their resources. While the guide and other state-sponsored services are completely voluntary, the state aims to support local districts during this difficult time.

“I’m very pleased that schools in Central Illinois and all across the state will be receiving a much-needed and well-deserved helping hand during these difficult times,” Koehler said.

In total, Illinois received nearly $7 billion to support local school districts.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Dave KoehlerSPRINGFIELD – Educators in rural Illinois would have a means of advising one another and recommending changes to Illinois education policy to help their communities under a plan by State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) to form a Rural School Advisory Council.

“Education is not one-size-fits-all,” Koehler said. “It is crucial that we ensure that educators from our rural communities have a seat at the table and a say in the decisions, because they know how we can best serve rural schools through meaningful education legislation.”

The council would provide a platform where educators have the ability to exchange thoughtful dialogue concerning the needs, challenges, and opportunities of rural districts and to provide policy recommendations to the State.

“Students all across Illinois deserve to have the same opportunities when it comes to their education, whether they live in the suburbs, our southern-most cities or anywhere in between,” Koehler said. “The establishment of this council will be an important step in that direction.”

SB 1819 is slated for consideration before the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Dave KoehlerSPRINGFIELD – Disabled veterans, returning service members and those who are terminally ill would not need to get a trapping license under a plan by State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) that advanced out of the Senate Agriculture Committee Thursday.

Koehler is the sponsor of Senate Bill 1533, which provides a trapping license exemption for those groups.

“Our servicemen and women sacrifice so much every day on our behalf, and this legislation is a small step toward showing them that we have not forgotten that sacrifice,” Koehler said. “I am proud to work on this and similar measures that are aimed at providing our veterans with the resources they need and deserve.”

The legislation is now scheduled to be considered before the whole Senate.

Category: Press Releases

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