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Manar seeks review of Land of Lincoln Goodwill state contracts

goodwill

Updated: 07/19/19

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar is calling for a full review of state contracts and funding awarded to Land of Lincoln Goodwill following the nonprofit’s decision to pull paychecks from disabled workers.

The nonprofit initially told dozens of workers with disabilities that they would be laid off due to the state’s increase in the minimum wage even though the one dollar per hour increase doesn’t take effect for five months and it is exempt by the U.S. Department of Labor from paying these employees the minimum wage. It recently reversed its decision, allowing those workers to keep their jobs, and its CEO resigned.

“An organization that eliminates opportunity for the most vulnerable people in the state while simultaneously driving up executive compensation should be ashamed of itself,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat. “Blaming a minimum wage increase that hasn’t even gone into effect and that does not apply to these workers after receiving an increase in taxpayer funding is unacceptable.”

According to a WCIA report, the executive director of the Land of Lincoln Goodwill is currently making $164,000. Further tax records show that Land of Lincoln Goodwill raised executive compensation for two positions during the height of the budget impasse by $86,155 over 3 years.

Land of Lincoln Goodwill currently receives nearly $400,000 in taxpayer funded contracts and was slated to receive a 3.5 percent funding increase under the state’s new budget.

Manar sent a letter to the Illinois Department of Human Services, the Department of Central Management Services and Governor JB Pritzker this morning asking for a review of all contracts with the nonprofit.

“When I work to craft and vote to support a state budget to increase funding for human services programs to benefit the well-being of the most vulnerable, it is not my intention to line the six figure pockets of executives at non-for-profit entities like Ms. Durbin. Goodwill’s mission statement explicitly states its intent to enhance people’s dignity by eliminating barriers to opportunity,” Manar said. “There seems to be an abundance of opportunity today for Ms. Durbin but not so much for Goodwill’s now unemployed disabled workers. Unfortunately, local Goodwill executives are on the wrong path and we must now take extra steps to ensure taxpayer dollars are being used properly and for their intended purposes.”