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Hunter receives TASC Legislative Champion Award

Published: Wednesday, December 18, 2019 10:31 AM

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CHICAGO – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) received TASC’s 2019 Legislative Champion Award at the agency’s annual Leadership Awards Luncheon on Tuesday for her efforts to improve opportunities for substance-use disorder treatment, recovery, and community engagement, especially such opportunities for individuals who have had contact with the criminal legal system.

“Working to create a healthier, more equitable, more just society has been the bedrock of my career. I’m so honored to be recognized for these efforts by an organization equally committed to those values,” Hunter said. “I look forward to continuing this mission alongside groups like TASC to identify and implement new, innovative, and more holistic ways to address health inequities and stop the cycles of substance abuse and drug-related crime in Chicago and communities statewide.”

Belt: A child’s success starts with early childhood education

Published: Tuesday, December 17, 2019 10:43 AM

earlychildhoodSPRINGFIELD - State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) will serve on the Illinois Commission on Equitable Early Childhood Education and Care Funding to improve access to quality early childhood programs for all Illinois families.

“If we expect our children to have successful careers, we need to continue to invest in early childhood education,” Belt said. “This starts with making sure students have an intellectual skill set before entering kindergarten and ensuring the most disadvantaged children have the opportunity to succeed alongside their more advantaged classmates.”

Pritzker taps Manar to co-chair Early Childhood Funding Commission

Published: Monday, December 16, 2019 02:51 PM

manar 031219CHICAGO - State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) was today named co-chair of the Governor’s Commission for Equitable Funding for Early Childhood Education and Care by Illinois Governor J.B Pritzker. The commission will make recommendations on how to fund equitable access to high-quality early childhood education and care services for all children birth to age 5.

“Governor Pritzker has demonstrated real commitment to early education, and I’m confident that the commission can find a data-driven early childhood education financing plan that meets that needs of families in every region of the state and enables every child to benefit from a high-quality preschool experience,” Manar said.

Manar, who engineered the state’s historic Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) reform for K-12 schools in 2017, has long advocated equitable funding for early childhood education programs.

The commission will build on the state’s record investment of $100 million in early childhood education in the fiscal year 2020 budget, which will provide pre-K to 14,000 children across Illinois.

Manar was a vocal critic of the Rauner administration’s decision last year to cut all pre-K funding for dozens of schools across Central and Southern Illinois with no warning and little explanation. The move, which forced some schools to suspend their pre-K programs indefinitely, is something Manar says should never happen again.

“Changes made by the previous administration left entire counties in downstate Illinois without a single state-funded pre-K program. We’ve done a good job reversing some of those harmful changes, but we still have work to do,” Manar said. “A primary goal of this commission is to correct a broken system and propose a new, fair funding formula just like we did for K-12.”

The 29-member commission – consisting of child care providers, advocates, educators and legislators – will be led by co-chairs State Senator Andy Manar, former State Representative Barbara Flynn Currie, Deputy Illinois Governor Jesse Ruiz, and former Illinois Early Learning Council member George Davis.

Manar welcomes Illinois Commerce Chief Erin Guthrie to Montgomery County

Published: Friday, December 13, 2019 12:33 PM

manar 121319HILLSBORO – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) this week welcomed Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Erin Guthrie to Montgomery County to meet with Hillsboro Mayor Brian Sullivan and tour Atlas 46, a Hillsboro-based premium manufacturer of high quality nylon tactical products used by construction workers, law enforcement, military personnel, and similar industries.

Following the closure of the Coffeen Power Plant by Vistra Energy, Atlas 46 has been a leading economic driver for Hillsboro and Montgomery County.

“Given all that has happened, I’m excited for what’s in store for Hillsboro and wanted Director Guthrie to see this resilient community firsthand,” Manar said. “DCEO will play a critical role in many infrastructure and job growth projects that are currently in the works.”

“It was a pleasure to meet with Director Guthrie and Senator Manar. When a hardworking community like Hillsboro is able to team up with the state to expand job opportunities and recruit new businesses, the sky is the limit,” Mayor Sullivan said. “I am certain that their assistance will pay dividends for Hillsboro, Montgomery County, and the state.”

Pictured from left to right: State Senator Andy Manar, Hillsboro Community Planner Jonathan Weyer, DCEO Director Erin Guthrie, Hillsboro Mayor Brian Sullivan, and Atlas 46 General Manage Kyle Anderson.

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