04232021CM01091SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) to establish a plan for renewable recycling in Illinois advanced out of the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee on Thursday.

“When talking about renewable energy, we sometimes overlook that while the energy itself may be renewable, too often the technology used to harness it isn’t,” Koehler said. “Expanding opportunities to recycle and reuse the raw materials used to build solar panels won’t just save taxpayer dollars, it will help protect our environment and keep sustainable energy truly sustainable.”

Senate Bill 3790 creates a Renewable Energy Component Recycling Task Force, which is responsible for investigating options for recycling and other end of life methods for renewable generation components and energy storage devices. The Task Force must report its findings to the General Assembly by March 1, 2023.

By 2030, the United States is expected to see as much as one million total tons of solar panel waste, and by 2050, the United States is expected to have the second largest number of retired solar panels in the world, with as many as an estimated 10 million total tons of panels. States such as California, Hawaii, New Jersey, North Carolina and Washington have already implemented strategies to address this excess waste.

“As we look to establish sustainable energy sources for our state, we need to make sure we’re phasing out old technology in a safe and responsible manner,” Koehler said. “Creating new problems in the name of solving old ones isn’t progress. We have a responsibility to strive toward a healthier environment for generations to come.”

The legislation now goes before the Senate for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

05282021CM0766 rSPRINGFIELD – Families of students with disabilities will be more fully informed of the resources available to them thanks to a measure by State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) that passed out of the Senate State Government Committee on Wednesday.

“Students with disabilities face seemingly insurmountable challenges every day,” Koehler said. “For many of these students and their families, the COVID-19 pandemic has only added to their worries; and helping families access much-needed assistance should be a priority.”

Senate Bill 3474 requires school districts to provide informational materials about the Achieving a Better Life Experience account program directly to the parent or guardian of students with disabilities.

The ABLE program aims to assist individuals and families in saving private funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities to maintain health, independence and quality of life. It also provides secure funding for disability-related expenses on behalf of people with disabilities to supplement insurance benefits and income.

“By ensuring that Illinoisans with disabilities and their families know about the ABLE account program, we can create solutions instead of exacerbating problems,” Koehler said.

The legislation will now go before the full Senate for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

Koehler BudgetAddressQuote 1PEORIA – State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) issued the following statement after the governor’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget proposal Wednesday afternoon:

“During this time of unprecedented challenges, the proposed budget gives a well-deserved and much-needed helping hand to Illinoisans hardest hit by the pandemic.

“This budget addresses the needs of some of the most vulnerable individuals across our state through additional resources for the Department of Children and Family Services, increased funding for public health preparedness, and expanded home care and food delivery programs for older Illinoisans.

“This is the time for the government to step up and do what is right by the people we represent. By putting the people of our state at the forefront of our growth and progress, we ensure that we are able to move forward together, and I look forward to continuing to strive for that goal.”

Category: Press Releases

51548434047 34e222d2a6 bThe Illinois Department of Public Health is partnering with the Rockefeller Foundation to offer free COVID-19 tests to households in identified priority zip codes across the state. Eligibility is based on zip codes with the highest risk of COVID-19, using the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Social Vulnerability Index combined with state data on COVID-19 burden.

The website is live now, and constituents living in eligible zip codes can go to www.AccessCovidTests.org to order a free test kit. Eligible zip codes in the 46th District include 61602, 61603, 61605, 61606, and 61611.

  • Each household will receive 1 kit with five tests within one to two weeks after ordering
  • No payment information is required — both the tests and shipping are free to eligible residents
  • The program is currently limited to one order per residential address

More information about the program is available here.

Category: Press Releases

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