Manar

  • Senator Andy Manar (D- Bunker Hill) urges the governor to reopen the Illinois State Museum on June 1 rather than July 1.


  • museum 8 7 15 mrSPRINGFIELD—After months of advocacy and numerous legislative initiatives by Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), the Illinois Department of Natural Resources recently announced a plan to reopen the state museum.

    Following the announcement, Manar issued the following statement:

    “This decision is long overdue. Even though the museum was closed, the employees were still reporting to work every day so we weren’t achieving any savings.

    “Reopening the museum is an easy, common sense decision.”

  • Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) argues in favor of an evidence-based school funding model to reform education funding in Illinois.


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  • Senator And Manar (D-Bunker Hill) shares his final thoughts before voting on his automatic voter registration proposal on the Senate floor.


  • manar 051016SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Andy Manar’s (D-Bunker Hill) plan to re-invest in clean coal would help jolt the industry that has endured a crippling decrease over the years.

    “The coal industry was a major source of income and jobs for the rural parts of our state. When it started to slow down, thousands of jobs were downsized and many mines were closed,” said Manar. “Investing in clean coal technology and creating a system for those companies to partner with local utility companies will give this industry a much-needed boost.”

    The plan, Senate Bill 3426, would create the Clean Coal Technology Development and Utilization Fund and call for greater investments in clean coal producers on behalf of the state. The fund would then be solely used to fund clean coal project investments by the Illinois Finance Authority.  

    In addition, the measure requires that local utility companies utilize energy created by the clean coal sites as a source of power for their customers.

    “This plan is a two-fold investment. It provides the capital to create clean coal projects, as well as the customer base to sustain the projects there afterwards,” said Manar.

    Senate Bill 3426 is currently pending in the Illinois Senate.

  • sandoval sb231Yesterday, the Illinois Senate moved Senate Bill 231 to try and alleviate this problem, and Senator Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) supports education funding reform.

    “For too many children in too many communities, their paths to excellence are blocked by the existing school finance system that shortchanges their schools and fails to provide needed resources," said Senate President John J. Cullerton. "It’s an injustice we’ve tolerated too long. Our students, parents, teachers and taxpayers are tired of the bickering; tired of the impasse. They’re looking for leaders with the courage to step beyond the status quo and do what’s right."

    Senate Bill 231 is an education finance reform bill that will change the way Illinois schools are funded. The new formula replaces the current method by taking into account characteristics of each school district, including low-income pupil count, number of English learners and special education students.

    “This is an important step to make sure low-income and minority students in my district get the education they deserve," said Senator Sandoval, an advocate on school construction, who has worked with Senator Manar for three years on this issue. Chicago Public Schools as well as Lyons, Summit, Argo Community, Berwyn, Cicero and Burbank schools look to benefit from the new formula.

    "Too many districts are struggling under the current way we finance schools in Illinois," Senator Sandoval said. “On behalf of students in my communities and across Illinois, I commend Senator Manar for his leadership on this critical issue. It comes at a crucial time for working families.”

    The bill passed the Illinois Senate and now heads to the Illinois House of Representatives.

  • clayborne techSince 1990, students and teachers from across the state come to the Capitol each spring to provide demonstrations on classroom technology projects for lawmakers. The Illinois Computing Educators annual TECH Day brings school teams to show projects that often focus on improving teaching and learning.

    For Illinois students to succeed, technology must play a role in their education. This ensures their engagement in what their school's resources help them learn and accomplish.

  • Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) defends his legislation, SB231, which would update the school funding formula for the first time since 1997.


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  • manar 042216SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Andy Manar’s (D-Bunker Hill) plan to halt the proliferation of bath salts being sold by Illinois retailers passed through the Illinois Senate on Thursday.

    Bath salts, specifically known as synthetic cathinones, can be consumed in multiple different ways by the user, and can mimic the effect of amphetamine or PCP and often times causes hallucinations.

    “There has been a disturbing trend of abuse of these synthetic drugs over the past few years in Illinois and most notably in rural parts of the state,” Manar said. “This plan would help authorities stop the spread of bath salts by closing stores that knowingly sell these extremely dangerous and volatile drugs.”

    Senate Bill 210 would create the Bath Salts Prohibition Act and ban retailers in Illinois from selling synthetic cathinones that are commonly sold under disguise and labeled as bath salts, plant food or jewelry cleaner.

    Under the proposal, a retailer that is convicted of selling bath salts can have its retail license revoked, and guilty offenders can be charged with a Class 3 felony.

    Mike Havera, the Christian County state’s attorney, testified in support of the bill before a Senate committee on April 13.

    “It’s a different type of drug based on the commercial marketing of the drug targeting youth and targeting the ignorant or uneducated public, trying to market it as something that is not illegal.

    “With my four years as public defender, I didn’t have any armed robbery cases. In less than four years as the Christian County States Attorney we’ve had 10 armed robberies and six of those attributable to bath salts. So we’re also seeing a violent nature…we’re seeing violent crimes quite often.”

    Senate Bill 210 passed by a 53-0 vote and now moves to the House for consideration.

  • manar bus stopSPRINGFIELD- State Senator Andy Manar’s (D-Bunker Hill) plan to require vehicles to stop for stopped school buses on public highways located on public school grounds passed the Senate on Thursday.

    “We have had numerous instances in Bunker Hill where cars fail to stop before passing a school bus, which poses a serious danger,” said Manar. “In the end, this plan centers on providing for the safety of our students and motorists alike.”

  • manar 032416SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Andy Manar’s (D-Bunker Hill) plan to update the state’s education funding formula passed through the Senate Executive committee on Wednesday.

    The legislation, Senate Bill 231, provides that state funding for education would be distributed based on student need while ensuring that no district would receive less state money than it did in the 2015-16 school year.

    “Today’s vote was a great step forward in changing what is, without a doubt, the least equitable system of funding education in the nation,” Manar said. “I’m fully committed to hearing input from everyone in the legislature, and throughout the state as this proceeds through the legislature.”

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  • manar 032416Spending more won’t fix inequity

    SPRINGFIELD – Students and taxpayers in Paxton-Buckley-Loda CUSD 10 are being disadvantaged under Illinois’ antiquated system for funding education. The current education formula funnels money to largely wealthy districts that have the resources to spend as much as $30,000 per student. Recent data suggests that Paxton-Buckely-Loda CUSD 10 spends roughly a third of that per student, about $9,696. Reforming the state’s education funding formula could send more state money to Paxton-Buckley-Loda.

    Unfortunately, Governor Bruce Rauner is pushing to put more tax dollars into the system that shortchanges Paxton-Buckley-Loda. He toured the high school Thursday.

    State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) appreciates the governor’s commitment to improving education, but is trying to win support for a modern school funding system that better recognizes the needs of schools like Paxton-Buckley-Loda.

    “Increasing our investment in education alone will not get to the heart of the inequity between Illinois’ school districts,” Manar said. “It’s disheartening to hear the governor tell students, teachers and parents all over the state in struggling school districts that he will fix the problem, while he refuses to commit to implementing a more equitable funding formula.”

    Manar is the sponsor of Senate Bill 1, a complete overhaul of the state’s school funding system that prioritizes funding for school districts like Paxton-Buckley-Loda, based on the needs of its students. Under the reform plan, Paxton-Buckley-Loda could see an additional $237,000 in annual state aid, or about $170 more per student. Manar notes that this pending legislation would not require more spending, as the governor has proposed, at the state level. 

    “I have advised the governor that he is making the same mistakes as his predecessors. He thinks we can spend our way out of this problem,” said Manar. “We spend $12 billion today on schools, and we have the least equitable system in America.  We can spend that $12 billion better to drive better results and bridge the inequity gap.” 

    The new proposed funding formula takes student need into account, by providing more money to districts serving higher numbers of low income, special needs or English learning students. According to recent data, 49 percent of Paxton-Buckley-Loda students are low income, close to the state average.

    Roughly 16 percent of students in the district have disabilities, higher than the state average of 14 percent.

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  • Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) discusses the importance of automatic voter registration during a Chicago press conference on February 26, 2016.


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  • Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) shares some of his thoughts on the governor's budget address as it relates to education and education funding reform at a press conference on February 18, 2016.