Manar encourages donations to overcome shortage of protective gear for health workers

gogglesBUNKER HILL - To contend with a potentially dire shortage of personal protective equipment, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) is asking Central Illinois residents to donate unused gear to their local health departments, hospitals, and first responders, or consider making hand-sewn masks for non-clinicians.

"In times of crisis, unity creates community resilience," Manar said. "Now is the time to unite behind our medical personnel and first responders who are on the front line in the fight against COVID-19. Their PPE supply is dwindling, and without adequate gear, they cannot fully protect themselves or their patients."

Manar backs legislation aimed at reversing decline of small-town journalism

newspapers2 031320BUNKER HILL – The state would launch a new effort aimed at reversing the decline of local journalism in small and mid-sized towns in Illinois under legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill).

Authored by State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford), Senate Bill 3457 creates the Local Journalism Task Force, which would conduct a study on communities underserved by local journalism and provide insight on how to preserve and restore news coverage in those areas. The task force would be made up of 12 individuals representing print and broadcast media, journalism schools, and state and local government leaders.

“Quality local news is an important element of any thriving community,” Manar said. “For generations, local newspapers have document the highs and lows of communities like mine, served as a watchful eye over local leaders, and amplified stories of rural families that would otherwise go unheard. It’s important that we recognize the value they bring and ensure their work continues.”

The study would review all aspects of local journalism, including, but not limited to the adequacy of press coverage of communities, the ratio of residents to media outlets, the impact of social media on local news, and strategies to improve local news access.

The task force would also be required to present public policy solutions to improve the sustainability of local press business models. The task force must submit the findings from the study to the governor and the General Assembly no later than one year after the law takes effect.

Sam Fisher, the President and CEO of the Illinois Press Association, says newspapers large and small, throughout Illinois, face challenges brought on by the internet and the erosion of local businesses.

“Any legislative effort to ensure the continued existence of local journalism, which is at the heart of our democracy, is something that we applaud and will support,” Fisher added. “Democracy dies in the dark, and without local newspapers the light of day becomes increasingly hard to find.”

A study by the Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Media at the University of North Carolina showed Illinois has lost 157 weekly newspapers since 2004, while the United States has lost more than 1,700 altogether.

Manar files legislation to thwart census fraud by political organizations

manar 022620SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) has introduced legislation that would make it a Class 4 felony for a person to knowingly and falsely represent himself or herself to be a census worker in person or by any means of communication.

The move is intended to avert any efforts to use the 2020 Census for political gain in Illinois, after media outlets across the country reported that the Republican National Committee has repeatedly sent out fundraising mailers disguised to look like official census documents.

“Some things should simply be kept out of politics – the census count is one of them,” Manar said. “It is far too consequential to be diminished in any way by political gimmicks. We should be doing everything possible to ensure a full and accurate count, not sowing confusion and distrust by using the census to solicit political donations.”

Manar filed Senate Bill 3738 after being contacted by a constituent who received one of the deceptive mailers, which solicit money from respondents to cover the cost of processing the “Census Document.” They have caused confusion in other states and threaten to hinder the census count.

It’s currently against the law to impersonate a census worker in person. SB 3738 updates the law to include impersonation by all forms of communication.

Survey: 28% of Illinois residents have rationed or gone without medication due to high costs

Manar 022520Manar announced new legislation to create the Prescription Drug Affordability Board to set prescription price limits

SPRINGFIELD – Over half of Illinois residents are burdened by the high cost of health care and prescription drugs, according to a new Consumer Healthcare Experience State Survey (CHESS), commissioned in January 2020 by Protect Our Care Illinois and Altarum’s Healthcare Value Hub, with the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The survey found that 54% of respondents are either “worried” or “very worried” about affording the cost of prescription drugs, and 28% of Illinois adults have rationed or gone without medication due to the skyrocketing cost of prescription medication.


Sen. Andy Manar

Sen. Andy Manar

48th Senate District

Years served:2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture; Appropriations I; Appropriations II (Chairperson); Education; Executive Appointments (Vice-Chairperson); Subcommittee on Capital (AP) (Sub-Chairperson); Subcommittee on Special Issues (ED); Labor; Opioid Crisis Abatement Spec. Com..

Biography: Born November 15, 1975, in Bunker Hill; B.A. in History, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; past chairman of Macoupin County Board; married (wife, Trista), has three children.

Associated Representatives:
Avery Bourne
Sue Scherer