Manar

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  • manar stmt 072817 2SPRINGFIELD–State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement calling on the governor to personally join school funding talks and bring with him his secret revisions to a historic school funding plan. His comments are in response to the governor’s statement today that there should be negotiations among lawmakers on how to change the school funding plan:

    “Lawmakers have been negotiating. This proposal reflects compromise. That’s how we got this far. That’s how the governor got 90 percent of what he wants. I’m happy to participate in new discussions, but what we need is the governor to personally participate and show everyone what it is that he now demands.

    “We’ve worked with his administration to assemble this historic proposal, but I’ve yet to work directly with him. That’s why we’ve been trying to get a meeting with the governor to make sure he understands what this legislation does, the opportunity he has and what an amendatory veto likely means.

    “As sponsor of the legislation, I am asking the governor to personally participate in these negotiations. It’s time that he step out of the shadows with the proposal he wants, roll up his sleeves and work with us.

    “A veto from the governor only protects the status quo. The status quo is unacceptable. One way or another, we are going to deliver change.

    “If the governor does not come forward to show and explain his threatened veto, I will have little choice but to file an override motion as soon as that veto arrives in the Senate.”

  • manar 042617SPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement on Gov. Rauner’s call for a special session:

    “Calling a special session to address school funding reform is a wasteful gimmick the governor is using to distract from the real issue. The real issue is that the governor refuses to reveal what alleged problems he has with Senate Bill 1 and will not negotiate in good faith.

    “Rather than waste taxpayer dollars on an expensive special session, the governor should meet with the leaders to hammer out an agreement.

    “The governor is essentially asking the legislature to buy a house without inspecting it. We need to know the details of the governor’s amendatory veto so that we can address his concerns in a responsible manner.

    “It’s time for the governor to stop campaigning and come forward with his plan. He owes it to the students of Illinois.”

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  • stock presserSPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement in response to Gov. Rauner’s media event in central Illinois today:

    “Gov. Rauner should be building bridges with lawmakers so that he can become the governor who finally signs education funding reform into law. But instead of seizing the chance to cement his legacy as a reformer, he’s making demands in front of TV cameras.

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  • manar 062717SPRINGFIELD – There are better ways to balance the state budget than on the backs of elderly retired teachers who rely on meager pensions to survive, Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said today.

    “The Republican proposal would cost retired teachers in Illinois thousands of dollars by driving up out-of-pocket health care premiums,” Manar said. “I will continue to oppose any proposals by Republican lawmakers and Gov. Rauner that rely on raiding the pensions and health care funds for retired teachers to balance the state budget.”

    Manar’s remarks were made in response to concerns raised today by the Illinois Retired Teachers Association regarding Republican budget plans that rely on underfunding state pension plans and reducing appropriations for retiree health care in order to claim they are “balanced” proposals.

    A budget introduced by Republicans earlier this year cut the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement Insurance Program (TRIP) by more than 30 percent ($23 million), and the latest Republican budget nearly doubles the original GOP cuts to TRIP, slashing subsidies by $40 million, with plans to phase out health care assistance for retired teachers.

    The Senate’s balanced budget, which passed on May 23, does not rely on massive cuts to retired teachers to close the $5 billion gap in Gov. Rauner’s budget. Manar said the state should keep its promises to retired teachers.

    “Let’s start looking to the billionaires and corporations that can afford to kick in more, rather than the elderly retired kindergarten teachers who live in subsidized housing and ration their monthly checks to the penny so they can afford to buy groceries and pay the light bill,” Manar said.

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  • reportcardSPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement regarding the unveiling of a new school funding formula this morning:

    “The spring legislative session ended more than three weeks ago. Senator Barickman missed the deadline,” Manar said. “If his latest proposal was a final project, he’d earn an F because not only did he turn it in late, he showed up looking for his teacher after everyone had gone home and the school doors were locked for the summer.”

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  • manar 042617SPRINGFIELD – The Senate’s balanced budget strikes a sensible balance that offers cuts and reforms while prioritizing what the people of Illinois want the state to deliver after two years of gridlock, said Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill).

    “People want us to prioritize funding for education, for health care and for higher education so that we can repair that system. Our budget does all of this under the umbrella of spending limits that the governor put forward,” said Manar, chairman of one of the Senate’s two budget committees.

    “That’s the result of both leadership and frustration on our part, because we continuously put forth issues that Gov. Rauner claims to value – and in some cases demands – but yet we are stuck with no movement from the executive branch.”

    Manar noted that the Senate listened to Gov. Rauner’s demands for government reforms in exchange for signing a budget. The Senate approved term limits on legislative leaders, procurement reform, school funding reform, workers’ compensation reform and local government consolidation reform – all in conjunction with a balanced budget that cuts $3 billion in government spending.

    “So regardless of what Gov. Rauner is going to do, the Senate is going to continue to lead,” Manar said. “That’s why we did the things that we have done this session that ultimately produced a budget that is balanced and sustainable that will help us put this behind us once and for all.”

    Sen. Manar talks about the budget:

  • manar 052517SPRINGFIELD – After lecturing a panel of lawmakers Thursday about why the cash-strapped state of Illinois should lease rather than buy property, a senior Rauner administration official revealed that plans are underway for the state to purchase another building in Springfield.

    The revelation came as Senate Democrats attempted to get to the bottom of who and what prompted a series of expensive lease deals inked by the Rauner administration for warehouses in Springfield. Meanwhile, the Illinois Senate this week approved $3 billion in cuts to government spending to help balance the state’s budget and break the two-year budget stalemate.

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  • manar 051917SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar is urging Illinois school superintendents to be aware that misleading figures are being peddled about Senate Bill 1, the school funding plan that passed in the Illinois Senate this week.

    Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office this afternoon acknowledged the figures are inaccurate and outdated but stopped short of denouncing them.

    “This appears to be a textbook example of fake news. I am disturbed as to how and why this information was put out there and framed as official information from the Rauner administration, clearly with the intent of confusing and misleading people about Senate Bill 1,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat.

    “Senate Democrats have asked the executive inspector general to look into that, but right now I want to make sure school superintendents are aware that outdated information is fraudulently being passed off as up-to-date news about Senate Bill 1.

    “Furthermore, I hope Gov. Rauner and Education Secretary Beth Purvis will follow our lead and alert school officials about this misleading information to set the record straight. Anything less makes them complicit in a concerted effort to jeopardize Illinois’ shot at achieving meaningful school funding reform.”

  • manar fix 051717SPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), a widely respected advocate for fair school funding in Illinois, issued the following statement regarding criticism leveled by the Rauner administration today immediately following the Senate’s passage of Senate Bill 1, a school funding reform measure sponsored by Manar:

    “The Rauner administration and Republicans want to behave like this is a vexing new problem that Illinois has never tried to tackle before. The truth is this is a more than 20-year-old problem that we have studied to death, repeatedly debated and willfully ignored.

  • manar 042617SPRINGFIELD – Thanks to a proposal State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) passed through the Illinois Senate this week, Illinois residents will be less likely to find themselves living in a new library taxing district without their consent.

    Manar’s proposal, Senate Bill 864, was approved 55-0 Wednesday in the Senate.

    “Taxation without representation was one of the principals our founding fathers fought against,” Manar said. “Libraries are important assets to our communities, but property taxpayers deserve to have a say on their property tax bill.”

    The measure was prompted by a municipal library in Macoupin County that converted to a public library district. The new public library taxing district included three additional communities that had not been included in the former taxing district.

    Similar situations are happening across the state. Because of ambiguous phrasing of current state law, residents in those communities did not have a direct say in whether they wished to be included in the taxing district for a library potentially many miles from their home.

    Senate Bill 864 bars a public library from converting to a library district that includes areas not previously taxed before the conversion without direct approval of local governments. It will close two loopholes currently in the law that allow municipal library to become a library district without the consent of municipalities and areas that would be included and taxes in the new district.

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    After carefully negotiating changes requested by the governor, state agencies and other stakeholders, State Senator Andy Manar’s plan to modernize the voter registration process received unanimous support in the Illinois Senate today.

    “I am proud that the state Senate once again has voted to bring automatic voter registration to Illinois, and I hope the House will follow our lead and that Governor Rauner will sign it into law,” said Manar, a Democrat from Bunker Hill.

    If enacted, eligible Illinois citizens would be given the option to opt out of registering when they interact with certain state agencies, as opposed to the current system that requires citizens to opt-in.

    “At a time when we're seeing a major rollback of voting rights across the country, I'm proud that Democrats and Republicans came together and voted to expand access to the ballot in Illinois,” said Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago). “Voter registration laws disproportionately affect minorities, women, seniors and low-income individuals. Automatic voter registration will remove a barrier to voting and help ensure that all eligible Illinoisans are able to participate in our democracy should they so choose.”

    “I am happy to see this measure receive such great support from my colleagues on both sides of the aisle,” said Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin). “The right to vote is a pillar of our democracy. Automatic voter registration will bring more participation and allow more voices to be heard in the legislative process.”

    “Automatic voter registration is important to the health of our democracy,” said Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora). “There are so many existing roadblocks to participation. Something as basic as registration should not be one of those roadblocks. I am dismayed by how low voter turnout is, especially in local and off-cycle elections, and I believe that automatic registration will give more people an opportunity to let their voices be heard in the political process.”

    Currently, there are more than 2 million Illinoisans who are eligible to vote but aren’t registered. Automatic voter registration will significantly reduce this number and will remove a barrier to voting for all eligible Illinoisans.

    “We should make it easier to vote, not harder,” said Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills). “This legislation will ensure that every Illinois resident who is eligible to vote doesn’t have to go through the sometimes burdensome process to register. This only enhances the voice of the voter during an election.”

    Rather than giving individuals the option to fill out a separate voter registration form when conducting business with a state agency, the measure would allow agencies to electronically transfer an individual’s data to the State Board of Elections. Automatically registering eligible voters will streamline bureaucracy, do away with redundant paperwork and save taxpayer dollars.

    “When it comes to modernizing state government, automatic voter registration checks all the boxes: it eliminates redundant paperwork, it cuts down on the number of times people have to interact with a government office, it curbs voter fraud, and it saves money,” said Manar. “The time is right for this reform.”

    “Not only does automatic voter registration remove a barrier to voting for eligible citizens, it is a common-sense way to modernize the registration process, reduce bureaucracy and duplication and save the state money,” said Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake). “I hope this good government reform receives the same bipartisan support in the House and from the governor as it did in the Senate.”

    “We should be making it easier, not harder, for people to vote and have a direct say in who represents them,” said Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood). “Making automatic voter registration law will save taxpayer dollars, streamline a government function and ensure the ballot box is as easily accessible as possible for voters.”

    In March 2015, Oregon was the first state to enact automatic voter registration. Since then, California, West Virginia, Vermont, Connecticut, Alaska and the District of Columbia have adopted automatic registration, and thirty other states introduced legislation this year.

    “In the end, this effort is going to register people to vote, no matter who they vote for – Democrats or Republicans. It’s going to save money, modernize government and streamline our system,” Manar said. “And it’s going to lead more citizens of our state, regardless of where they live or their party affiliation, to participate in our electoral process. That means we all win as citizens of the state of Illinois.”