Manar

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  • uis logo 082818SPRINGFIELD – A new venture that will connect downtown and the nearby University of Illinois campus as part of a heralded statewide innovation network is an example of what’s possible when the state starts investing in its young people and their future, State Senator Andy Manar said today.

    “Not only is this a step toward UIS having a more significant presence downtown – something local officials have discussed for years – it is the first of many incredible things to come for the capital city as a result of this project,” Manar said. 

    “I am pleased to have had role in making this a reality, and I look forward to watching the exciting changes that are about to unfold in Springfield.”

    State, local and university officials are announcing this morning that the Innovate Springfield business incubator will become part of UIS, giving the university a significant downtown presence for the first time in its history.

    In addition, UIS will become a hub of a statewide innovation network that is intended to connect universities and foster entrepreneurship in various fields.

  • manar 052118SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar said he is disappointed but not surprised by the governor’s veto Sunday of a plan to raise the minimum wage for Illinois teachers for the first time since 1980.

    For nearly four decades, state statute has required Illinois school districts to pay teachers a minimum salary of about $10,000. Based on decades of inflation, the minimum mandated salary today should be about $32,000.

    Manar (D-Bunker Hill), the Senate sponsor of the measure, noted that there are teachers throughout Illinois today who live at or below the federal poverty line, something he said he finds unconscionable given the professionalism and dedication required to educate children.

    It was hoped that raising the minimum salary would help Illinois tackle an acute teacher shortage crisis by sending a message that the work teachers do is valued and attracting more young people to the profession.

    “Refusing to guarantee professional educators a livable minimum wage is no way to lure more teachers to Illinois,” he said. “I’m disappointed in the governor’s veto, and I know thousands of dedicated, hard-working, creative educators throughout the state are, too.”

    Under the measure (Senate Bill 2892), the state would update the minimum mandated salary for teachers annually for the next four years. After that, subject to review by the General Assembly, it would be increased according to the Consumer Price Index. The phase-in looks like this under the proposal:

    • $32,076 minimum for the 2019-2020 school year
    • $34,576 minimum for the 2020-2021 school year
    • $37,076 minimum for the 2021-2022 school year
    • $40,000 minimum for the 2022-2023 school year

    It is unknown if the General Assembly will attempt to override the veto.

    Illinois Education Association President Kathi Griffin said members of the organization, which backed the minimum wage bill, also are disappointed but unsurprised by the governor’s veto.

    “The governor repeatedly says he’s a friend of education, but his actions tell us otherwise. Senator Manar’s legislation would have been the best way to combat the teacher shortage in Illinois. Studies show the most effective way to alleviate a teacher shortage crisis is through respect and adequate wages,” Griffin said.

    “By vetoing this bill, the governor is disrespecting every teacher, student and community in Illinois.  We are in the midst of a crisis the governor does not seem interested in fixing.”

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  • CapitolSWJuly brings the beginning of a new fiscal year for the state, and several measures passed by the legislature and signed into law take effect on July 1.

    Most notably, two new laws address Illinois education: one reaffirms the importance of learning cursive writing in Illinois schools and another addresses the statewide teacher shortage.

  • manar 031418Plan is influenced by input from teachers in 48th Senate District

    SPRINGFIELD – Rural and downstate school districts will have more tools to help overcome the challenges of a statewide teacher shortage under a new law that is based on input from central Illinois educators.

    The plan, sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill, was signed into law today. It is influenced by suggestions from teachers in and near Macoupin and Montgomery counties who met with Manar in the fall to discuss the problem and possible solutions.

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  • manar rrsign 061418PANA – As the community of Pana today marks one year since the loss of five family members in a collision with a freight train, State Senator Andy Manar is reminding drivers and pedestrians about the dangers of rural railroad crossings.

    “Today, we’ll pause to remember five respected citizens who are missed terribly by their loved ones and friends,” Manar said. “We owe it to them and their families to do everything in our power to protect people around train tracks and ensure rail crossings are unobstructed and well maintained.”

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  • manar 052818SPRINGFIELD – Access to water and electricity, fair utility rates, decent cell phone and cable service, and safe railroad grades are all issues that are vitally important to rural Illinois consumers.

    Yet no rural or downstate residents today sit on the Illinois Commerce Commission, the powerful five-member state panel that regulates utilities, approves utility rates, licenses trucking and towing companies and oversees railroad safety and crossing improvements.

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  • manar 051718Bipartisan support for gradual update of Illinois’ minimum teacher salary after 38 years

    SPRINGFIELD – An effort to update Illinois’ minimum mandated salary for teachers – one that could attract more young people to the profession by sending a message that their work is valued – was approved by the Illinois Senate Thursday.

    Illinois has not updated its minimum mandated salary for teachers since 1980. For 38 years, state statute has required Illinois school districts to pay teachers a minimum salary of about $10,000. Based on decades of inflation, the minimum mandated salary should be about $32,000.

  • manar tc 051618SPRINGFIELD – Audit results released today regarding the Rauner administration’s pricey lease of a Springfield warehouse for paper storage confirms what some lawmakers have known all along: that the deal doesn’t pass the smell test.

    State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), chairman of the Senate Appropriations II Committee, said he is troubled by the audit report.

    “At various points in the process, people chose to ignore rules, guidelines and best practices that are there to eliminate questions about backroom deals and political favors,” Manar said. “This was an unnecessary cost to taxpayers, and it seems to me the problems uncovered by this audit merit further scrutiny.”

  • STAUNTON—State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, the jbt 050818chairwoman of the Illinois Senate Education Committee, continued her statewide “Chalk Talk” tour of schools on Monday at Staunton Community Unit School District 6.

    Bertino-Tarrant and local State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) met with members of the District Improvement Team to discuss the teacher shortage faced by many schools in the area.

  • 0508 TeacherDayThis week is Teacher Appreciation Week, but Senate Democrats are working on behalf of public school teachers year-round to provide the resources and opportunities they need to educate our children.

    Last year, after nearly four years that included hundreds of hours of testimony from parents, teachers and students and dozens of bipartisan meetings, an unprecedented overhaul of how Illinois funds public schools was signed into law. State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) was the sponsor of the proposal, Senate Bill 1947, in the Senate.

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    SPRINGFIELD – Bruce Rauner can make a lasting, positive mark on Illinois government by outlawing the practice of concealing governor’s office salaries within state agency budgets, a practice known as “offshoring,” State Senator Andy Manar said today.

    The Illinois Senate today approved the Truth in Hiring Act with bipartisan support. The accountability and transparency measure, sponsored by Manar in the Senate, will be sent to the governor’s desk.

    “Offshoring didn’t start under this governor’s watch, but certainly he can be the governor who puts a stop to it,” Manar said.

  • manar 050118BUNKER HILL – A three-hour drug takeback event in Macoupin and Montgomery counties Saturday morning resulted in hundreds of pounds of old and unused medications being removed from homes and taken to local pharmacies for proper disposal.

    Participating pharmacies reported collecting 50 pounds or more of unwanted medications each, including dozens of bottles containing the kinds of controlled substances that fuel opioid addiction.

    State Senator Andy Manar expressed gratitude to everyone who participated – particularly the citizens who dropped off medications and the pharmacists who made their stores available as collection sites.

    “We put out the call for people to help us fight opioid abuse locally, and the response was incredible,” Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said. “I think people are grateful when an opportunity like drug takeback day comes along each year because it’s a useful reminder and a simple way to help the community and the environment.”

    Twelve independent pharmacy locations in towns throughout Macoupin and Montgomery counties served as collection sites for unwanted human and pet medications Saturday. Some of the results:

    • Michelle’s Pharmacy in Bunker Hill, Carlinville and Gillespie reported 150 pounds of medications returned at its three locations, including 84 bottles of controlled substances and more than $8,400 in mail-order pharmaceutical waste.
    • Sullivan’s Drugstore locations in Hillsboro, Litchfield and Raymond nearly filled a 30-gallon garbage can with pills after they were removed from the bottles.
    • Sav-Mor Pharmacy sites in Nokomis and Virden each collected more than 50 pounds of unwanted pharmaceuticals.
    • Sullivan’s Drugstore in Carlinville saw the return of numerous unwanted controlled substances, including hydrocodone, an addictive opioid pain medication.
    • Drop-offs were swift at Sullivan’s Drugstore in Staunton but less so than during last year’s takeback event, which was interpreted as a positive sign that people have been disposing of their medications.

    “The success of this event is a testament to the power of government, businesses, citizens and nonprofit groups coming together to achieve a common community objective,” Manar said. “By working together, we can help break the cycle of opioid addiction.”

    Saturday’s drug takeback was organized by Manar’s office with the assistance of county law enforcement authorities, public health officials, local independent pharmacies and others. This was the second year for the event, and plans are under way for next year’s takeback.

    Macoupin County sponsors included Sheriff Shawn Kahl, State’s Attorney Jennifer Watson, the Macoupin County Public Health Department and the Macoupin County Anti-Meth Coalition.

    Montgomery County sponsors included Sheriff Jim Vazzi, State’s Attorney Bryant Hitchings and the Reality Coalition.

    Many pharmacies and law enforcement offices offer permanent collection sites year round. Locally, they include the police departments in Litchfield, Hillsboro, Gillespie, Carlinville and Mount Olive, and the Macoupin and Montgomery sheriff’s departments. Customers also can check with local pharmacies for collection policies.