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Manar applauds Pritzker appointments of 48th District constituents to State Board of Education

manar 032019SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar expressed his congratulations today to two Central Illinois educators and 48th District residents on their appointment and swearing in to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) this spring.

“It was important to me that rural school districts in Downstate Illinois were represented on the State Board of Education and I expressed that sentiment to Governor Pritzker.  I applaud the Governor’s appointment of Susan Morrison and Dr. David Lett who will be strong voices for small schools while balancing the needs of the entire state,” said Manar.

Susan Morrison, of Carlinville, and David Lett, of Rochester, are among seven newly sworn in members who will serve four-year terms on the State Board of Education.

Morrison, who was first appointed to the board in 2017, has worked as an Illinois educator and an advocate for children for nearly 40 years. She began her career in education in the Central Illinois communities of Homer and Girard as a social studies teacher and later worked as a building principal and director of curriculum and instruction.

Morrison also has statewide experience in education, serving as state director for several state and federal programs, including gifted education and school improvement. She retired from ISBE in 2015 as deputy superintendent and chief education officer before returning to serve on the board.

“Susan Morrison’s extensive experience prepared her well for her first two years on the board, during which she demonstrated how capable she is at addressing problems facing public education in Illinois,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat. “She is more than deserving of another four years in her position, and I’m confident that she will continue to show leadership and effectively advocate on behalf of Illinois’ students and faculty.”

Dr. David Lett, who is serving his first term on the Board, has dedicated over 35 years as a teacher and leader in both K-12 schools and higher education. He began his career as a social science teacher before serving as a principal and assistant principal.

Lett also spent 16 years as superintendent of Pana Community Unit School District 8. He was one of the Central Illinois superintendents who approached Manar in 2012 about the need for a complete re-write of the school funding formula.  Dr. Lett is currently an adjunct professor in the Education Leadership Department at the University of Illinois Springfield.

“With over three decades of experience in education at the local level as both a teacher and an administrator, Dr. Lett understands better than just about anyone the challenges school districts face,” Manar said. “He will be an excellent addition to the board, he will represent Downstate Illinois with a strong voice, and I look forward to working with him to fight for Illinois schools.”

Manar: Budget includes $500k for Taylorville tornado damage

tornado 060419SPRINGFIELD – The City of Taylorville will receive $500,000 from the state to help cover the costs incurred from the December tornado of last year.

State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) got the funding included in the budget in order to help the community rebuild after the disaster.

“I made a promise to Mayor Barry and the people of Taylorville back in December after spending several days with him and first responders following the aftermath of the tornado that the state would do its part,” Manar said. “Today I am delivering on the promise.”

On December 1, 2018, an EF3 tornado tore through the town located in the geographic center of Christian County. According to the Christian County Emergency Management Agency, more than 500 buildings were damaged, with 34 being destroyed and 66 receiving major damage. 26 people were injured, none fatally.

Manar aims to cap insulin costs for Illinois residents

insulin 053019SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar has introduced legislation that would protect Illinoisans from the skyrocketing price of insulin by capping the amount patients would need to pay for the life-saving medication.

“In the last 20 years or so we’ve seen the price of insulin rise to outlandish levels,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat. “We have a responsibility as lawmakers to help get these prices under control and make this life-saving medication more available to those who need it.”

Senate Bill 667 would cap co-payments for insulin at $100 per month for all patients regardless of the supply they require.

The price of insulin has increased exponentially in the U.S. in the past several years. According to a 2016 study, the price of the drug tripled between 2002 and 2013. 

If passed, the measure would make Illinois the second state in the country to cap insulin payments.

Nearly 7.5 million Americans with diabetes rely on insulin to manage their blood sugar levels. Price increases have left many of them struggling to pay for the drug and at risk of deadly consequences. Some people are forced to ration the medication until they can afford the next prescription or forego it altogether.

“This isn’t just a financial issue, these price increases are putting peoples’ lives at stake,” Manar said. “We need immediate action on this issue and that’s what this bill represents.”

Manar passes measure to increase teacher minimum salary

Sen. Andy ManarSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) passed legislation Wednesday aimed at eliminating the teacher shortage in Illinois by increasing the minimum salary for teachers.

“Illinois schools are having an increasingly difficult time attracting and retaining qualified teachers and a big part of that is the fact that we aren’t paying them enough,” Manar said. “This legislation shows the high value we place on teachers and the commitment we have to keeping them in Illinois.”

House Bill 2078 would increase the minimum salary for teachers to $40,000 over a four year period.

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); Financial Institutions; Subcommittee on Capital (Sub-Chairperson).

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