04292021CM0446 rSPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) that extends the timeline on two tax increment financing districts in the City of Peoria, as well as several others throughout the state, was signed into law Friday.

“When we invest in our cities, we invest directly in our residents,” Koehler said. “Pieces of legislation like this one offer a second chance to those areas that have not seen investment or growth in far too long.”

The City of Peoria currently has two active TIF districts, set to expire December 31, 2030 and December 31, 2031. This legislation would extend the expiration of all TIF districts from 23 to 35 years, meaning that Peoria's districts would expire in 2042 and 2043. TIF districts are areas within cities designated for improvement, with specific criteria that must be met to qualify. The designated district reallocates funds from property taxes in an effort to bring in new investment. Other Illinois cities that will also benefit from TIF extensions are Effingham, Polo, Bellwood, Joliet, Chicago, Plainfield, Springfield, Cahokia, Charleston, Beardstown, Cicero, East St. Louis, Gardner and East Peoria.

“Encouraging new investment in these areas means that the City of Peoria will be strong and dynamic for years to come,” Koehler said.

Senate Bill 1822 will take effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

pexels pixabay 36031 rThe Office of the State Fire Marshal has opened the application period for the Small Equipment Grant Program. All interested departments should send an application to the OSFM, applications must be postmarked no later than October 22, 2021. OSFM will award $2.5 million to eligible fire departments and ambulance services during this application period.

The Small Equipment Grant Program was established to provide grants of up to $26,000 for the purchase of small firefighting and ambulance equipment. A total of $3.3 million was awarded to 149 fire departments/districts and EMS providers across the state in June.

Fire department, fire protection districts and township fire department applicants are required to have participated in the National Fire Incident Reporting System for a minimum of two years prior to applying. The OSFM will require departments to be current through June 2021 for this grant period.

Learn more about the grant here. Apply here.

Email the State Fire Marshal's office with any questions or concerns.

Category: Press Releases

01122021HAO0858 rSPRINGFIELD – 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 was signed into law Friday.

“Our servicemen and women have sacrificed so much for all of us, and it is our duty to do anything we can to show them that we remember and appreciate that sacrifice,” Koehler said. “This is one small way we can make their lives easier.”

Senate Bill 1533, an initiative of the Illinois Trappers' Association, would issue free trapping licenses to the terminally ill, disabled veterans, and returning service members. This would permit these populations use designated devices to remotely catch game animals. 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 law will go into effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

081721CM0252 rSPRINGFIELD – Penicillium rubens, a strain of penicillium discovered in Peoria, will officially be Illinois’ state microbe thanks to legislation sponsored by State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), signed into law Tuesday.

“The discovery of penicillium rubens in Peoria saved countless lives during World War II, and has saved many since,” Koehler said. “By making it our official microbe, we ensure that the story of P. rubens will be intertwined in our state history for generations to come.”

Penicillium was initially discovered by Scottish physician Alexander Fleming in 1928, and was found to be very effective in treating bacterial diseases. However, the drug was difficult to distribute on any large scale because it was not easy to produce. During World War II, there was a push to find a strain of the bacteria that could be quickly reproduced and distributed.

Penicillium rubens was discovered on a cantaloupe from a grocery store in Peoria, Illinois, and the fungus isolated from this cantaloupe produced several hundred times as much penicillin as Fleming's original cultures. This discovery allowed doctors and scientists to mass-produce penicillin in large enough quantities to distribute to the general public at the time, to Allied soldiers during WWII, and to countless individuals in the almost century since.

"When we look to our future as a state, it is proper to honor our past. Penicillium rubens was discovered in Peoria at our National Agriculture Utilization Laboratory and paved the way for Penicillin to improve health outcomes all over the world through the twentieth century. Life expectancy was lengthened worldwide because of this momentous work. If that is not a milestone worthy of recognition and hometown pride, then I certainly don't know what is," State Representative Ryan Spain (R-Peoria) said.

P. rubens will officially become the state microbe on January 1, 2022.

Category: Press Releases

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

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