SPRINGFIELD – Sexual assault awareness groups celebrated a major victory on Thursday. State Senator Dave Koehler passed a measure through the Senate to make survivors feel more comfortable receiving care by allowing them to choose to delay reporting.

“The most important thing we can do for survivors of sexual assault is make them feel safe,” said Koehler (D – Peoria). “Many survivors know who assaulted them personally. By giving survivors the choice of when and how they would like to report their case to the authorities, we are giving them the ability to safely seek justice.”

Senate Bill 333 would allow survivors of sexual assault who are 13 years or older to give or refuse consent to notify the police immediately. If they refuse, the police will be notified after the patient has left the treatment location, or after 24 hours. If a sexual assault survivor does not consent to notification being made and only consents to the collection of evidence, the health care provider must make the notification in accordance with the Sexual Assault Survivors Emergency Treatment Act. The measure would also allow the patient to protect his or her identity in the police report.

“The Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault is thrilled with the Illinois Senate’s passage of SB333,” said Carrie Ward, Chief Executive Officer of ICASA. “This amendment to the Criminal Identification Act is a survivor-centered response to victims of sexual violence.  In the aftermath of a sexual assault, it is crucial for survivors to regain their power.  This legislation does just that by ensuring survivors seeking medical care after an assault get to make their own choices regarding whether and when to engage with law enforcement.  ICASA thanks Senator Koehler for championing SB 333 on our behalf.”

Senate Bill 333 passed the Senate Thursday. 

Category: Press Releases



SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Dave Koehler led a measure through the Senate to remove vital records fees for survivors of domestic violence.

“We should be protecting domestic violence survivors, not forcing them to pay unnecessary fees,” said Koehler (D – Peoria). “It’s our job to lend them a hand rather than ask them to pull out their wallets.”

House Bill 2841 would remove the fees associated with services of vital records done by the State Registrar for survivors of domestic violence. The fee for a search of vital records is $10 per application currently and includes the files on birth, death, and fetal death. These records can be used to dissolve marriages and civil unions, receive information on the birth of a child, unexpected miscarriages and for genealogical purposes.

“The last thing anyone wants is for these survivors to be turned away because they can’t afford these records,” said Koehler. “By eliminating these fees, we are giving survivors better access to the resources they need.”

House Bill 2841 passed the Senate Thursday.

Category: Press Releases



SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Dave Koehler championed a measure to highlight future career opportunities for children with disabilities.

“This measure helps families and children with disabilities see the career options that are available to them,” said Koehler (D – Peoria). “Every child deserves additional opportunities outside the classroom.”

Individualized education plans – or IEPs – are plans that describe education instruction, support and services that students with disabilities are entitled to receive. Under House Bill 3224, students with IEPs and their parents would be provided information on the school district’s career and technical education and dual credit opportunities.

“By providing more information on these technical and dual credit opportunities, we are opening a door to possibilities these children didn’t know they had,” said Koehler. “This measure implements more communication between the instructor and the student, which will set them up for future success in the workforce.”

According to the National School Boards Association 2019 analysis, students with disabilities who were in career and technical educational programs had an 89% graduation rate nationwide during the previous school year, which was 20% higher than the overall graduation rate for students with disabilities.

House Bill 3224 passed the Senate Thursday.

Category: Press Releases



SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Dave Koehler led an initiative to provide fair and equal insurance coverage for cancer treatment using proton beam therapy.

“Cancer patients deserve the best treatment available to them,” said Koehler (D – Peoria). “As health technology advances, so should our insurance coverage policies.”

Proton beam therapy is an advanced cancer radiation therapy that uses focused beams that targets nearly the exact depth and location of cancerous cells in the body to deliver more dose to the tumor and less to the surrounding healthy tissue. House Bill 2799 would prohibit insurers from applying a higher standard for coverage of proton beam therapy than it would for any other form of treatment.

“There’s absolutely no reason to implement higher rates for necessary care,” said Koehler. “Illinoisans should have the peace of mind that they have access to the best possible care at their fingertips.”

House Bill 2799 passed the Senate Thursday.

Category: Press Releases

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