Manar

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  • manar lgdfSPRINGFIELD – Almost a year ago, a faulty exhaust pipe at North Mac Intermediate School in Girard sent 150 students and staff to the hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning. Since last September, the school has installed carbon monoxide detectors, but at the time there were none.

    Legislation requiring schools to install carbon monoxide detectors was signed into law Thursday. State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) sponsored the proposal.

    “Last year, Girard could have faced an unimaginably horrific tragedy. We have an obligation to protect children while at school and ensure something like this can’t happen again,” Manar said.

    The law will require schools to install detectors within 20 feet of equipment that produce carbon monoxide. School buildings without carbon monoxide sources would be exempt.

    “We always look for lessons learned, and installing the detectors was a preventative measure that we needed to take to assure everyone that our schools are safe from this threat,” said North Mac Superintendent Marica Cullen.

    A similar incident occurred last October at Harper High School in Chicago when the school was evacuated and nine students were hospitalized.

    State Representative Kathleen Willis (D-Addison) sponsored the proposal in the House.

    The legislation was negotiated with the Illinois Association of School Boards and the Illinois School Management Alliance, which represent the interests of school administration in Springfield.

    California, Connecticut and Maryland have similar requirements for carbon monoxide detectors in school buildings.

    The new law, House Bill 152, takes effect Jan. 1, 2016.

  • manar hi speed railSPRINGFIELD – A proposal creating a commission that will oversee Springfield’s 10th Street Rail Corridor was signed into law Wednesday.

    State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and Representative Sue Scherer (D-Decatur) sponsored the commission that aims to increase transparency and ensure accountability in minority hiring.

    Manar and Scherer credited citizen participation, specifically the Faith Coalition for the Common Good, for this commission becoming a reality.

  • manar museums 8 7 15SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate voted Tuesday to require the Illinois State Museum system to stay open despite the ongoing budget impasse.

    State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) sponsored the proposal to keep the Illinois State Museum open along with its branch sites: Dickson Mounds, Lockport Gallery, Southern Illinois Artisans Shop and Southern Illinois Art Gallery at Rend Lake and the Illinois Artisans Shop and Chicago Gallery.

    “The Illinois State Museum brings the outside world to Illinois students, families and scientists. There are very real financial and social costs to closing the museum,” Manar said.

    The proposal, Senate Bill 317, requires the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to keep the museums open by law.

    “The strong outpouring of public support for the museum has been the main motivator behind this legislation. People across the state care deeply about this museum and the opportunities and services it provides,” Manar said.

    The Senate approved the legislation Tuesday and now moves to the House for debate.

  • mcguire manar museumsSPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Senate late Tuesday afternoon voted overwhelmingly to keep the Illinois State Museum and its five branches open. Gov. Bruce Rauner has moved to shutter the headquarters museum in Springfield as well as sites in Chicago, Dickson Mounds, Lockport, and Rend Lake. The vote on SB 317 was 40-9, with an additional 5 senators voting present.

    The legislation’s primary sponsor is Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), in whose district the headquarters museum sits. Sen. Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill), whose district includes the Illinois State Museum-Lockport Gallery, is a chief co-sponsor. McGuire explained the benefits of the Lockport site during floor debate on the proposal.

    “The Lockport Gallery not only has aesthetic and educational value,” McGuire said, “it also has economic value.” McGuire said gallery visitors patronize downtown Lockport shops and restaurants. “This increases sales tax revenue and enlarges the property tax base,” he said.

    The measure now goes to the House for approval. On Wednesday, the legislature’s Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability casts an advisory vote on the Governor’s action to shut the entire Illinois State Museum system.

  • 30436737336 4bc59f3a5c bSPRINGFIELD – Out-of-state online retailers will have to pay their fair share of local sales taxes – just like local companies must do – if they want to do business in Illinois, according to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling today that garnered praise from State Senator Cristina Castro.

    “Times are different now, and a lot of people do their shopping online. It is important that out-of-state businesses are held accountable to their share of state revenues,” said Castro, an Elgin Democrat and the sponsor of a successful bipartisan measure that was contingent upon today’s ruling. That plan was incorporated into the state budget that was signed into law June 4.

    Previously, out-of-state e-commerce retailers do not have to collect a sales tax, a practice that undercuts local retailers and denies revenue for local needs, such as road, bridge and sewer repairs.