PEKIN — Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation Friday that would streamline the way Pekin Community High School and other districts around the state sell homes built by building trades students.

The measure, which passed the Legislature unanimously, allows districts to list the home directly with a Realtor rather than first trying to sell the home through a sealed bid process.

The current method — tailored to deal with most government property — takes longer and generally has discouraged members of the public not familiar with the process from getting involved.

PCHS School Board officials worked on the legislation sponsored by state Sen. Dave Koehler, D-Peoria, and Rep. Mike Unes, R-East Peoria.

The Pekin program is self-sustaining, with proceeds from each year's construction invested in building of a new home the following year. It dates to the 1960s, though it was temporarily suspended in the 1980s because of a weak housing market before resuming in 1998. 

Between 40 and 50 students participate in the project each year, with this year's construction taking place at 1836 Whitetail Lane in Deerfield Estates.

"The sale of these homes helps in maintaining worthy programs like District 303’s building trades program," Koehler said in a news release. "At the same time we’re pushing for the best education in technology and the sciences, we also need to ensure that students have the best opportunity to learn construction skills."

The legislation is Senate Bill 2823.

Rauner also signed legislation authored by Unes that specifies the state community college board's adult education fund and the career and technical education fund are federal monies and not state special funds. It ensures that those funds aren't delayed in getting to schools, even in the case of a budget impasse. Some 45 percent of Spoon River College's adult education funding comes from federal dollars.

That measure is House Bill 4675.

And Rauner additionally signed a measure Monday sponsored by Koehler that sets standards for training and advertising for businesses providing Alzheimer's and dementia care. Previously businesses could advertise programs such as "memory care" without meeting any specific standards. 

That legislation is Senate Bill 2301.

Chris Kaergard covers politics and government. He can be reached at 686-3255 and ckaergard@pjstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisKaergard.