Manar

  • Manar urges area farm families to participate in SIU Medicine’s Farm Family Resource Initiative survey

    farm family 080420SPRINGFIELD - Farmers and their families have the opportunity to complete a survey aimed to improve a wide range of services that will be available to them from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine’s Farm Family Resource Initiative program in the coming months.

    Manar, who chairs the Illinois Senate Appropriations II Committee, worked closely with fellow Downstate Democrats to include funding in this year’s state budget to address many of today’s challenges facing Illinois farmers.

  • Manar announces $41 million investment in Springfield-Sangamon County Transportation Center

    spfld amtrak 072420SPRINGFIELD - The City of Springfield is one step closer to achieving a centralized public transportation hub following the announcement of a $41 million state contribution earmarked for the Springfield-Sangamon County Transportation Center, advanced in the General Assembly by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill).

    The landmark investment is part of the state’s latest Multi-Year Plan under Rebuild Illinois.

    “This is a transformational investment in Springfield’s future, especially for East Side residents. The plan will make everyday commutes shorter, safer and more efficient for Springfield drivers and residents using all modes of public transportation,” Manar said. “In addition to modernizing our transit system, the project will boost economic development in a neighborhood that has lacked investment in recent years. I was proud to champion this effort in the General Assembly, and I look forward to continuing to support the Springfield rail consolidation project as a whole.”

    The Springfield-Sangamon County Transportation Center will combine Springfield Mass Transit District buses, the Amtrak station, intercity buses, paratransit vehicles and taxis at one location along the Tenth Street corridor with an adjacent parking garage.

    The project is a component of the Springfield Rail Improvement Project – a cooperative venture of IDOT, Sangamon County and the City of Springfield – to finalize long-awaited plans aimed at reducing train-related traffic stoppages that will improve public safety while upgrading the high-speed commercial rail service between Chicago and St. Louis that passes through Springfield.

    The project will ultimately relocate all passenger and freight traffic from Third Street to the Tenth Street rail line, consolidating them into one common corridor. It will also construct new underpasses and one overpass at critical rail crossings on the Tenth Street and 19th Street corridors in order to reduce street-level rail crossings.

    Set to begin in the current fiscal year, construction for the Transportation Center is to be completed in 2025 based on projections according to consulting firm Hanson Professional Services, Inc.

    “Transportation systems can be a driving factor in any city’s growth or decline,” Manar said. “I appreciate the state, local, and federal leaders who share my vision for Springfield and are committed to seeing it through.”

  • Manar announces $509 million in infrastructure improvements coming to his district

    pavement 072320BUNKER HILL – Central Illinois communities will see more than $509 million in funding for road and bridge projects over the next six years as part of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s latest Multi-Year Plan under Rebuild Illinois, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) announced Tuesday.

    “Transportation infrastructure is indispensable to a strong economic future, and the unprecedented health crisis we’re facing makes the timing of the Rebuild Illinois plan all the more significant,” Manar said. “The plan will help our economy rebound by creating thousands of jobs for families set back by COVID-19, while supporting the work and safety of professional truck drivers who are the unsung heroes of our fight against COVID-19.”

    Over $509 million in funding will support 172 projects between 2021 and 2026. Of the 172 projects, 37 will begin within the next year. Manar worked in collaboration with county and municipal leaders in his district to identify locations where infrastructure improvements were most needed.

    The Multi-Year Plan will invest $21.3 billion statewide over the next six years to improve 3,356 miles of road and 8.4 million square feet of bridge deck.

    Passed in 2019, Gov. JB Pritzker’s historic and bipartisan Rebuild Illinois plan is the largest capital program in state history. In its first year, the program improved 1,706 miles of roadway, and repaired or reconstructed 128 bridges across Illinois.

    Manar led negotiation efforts on the bipartisan Rebuild Illinois plan on behalf of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus.

    Projects included in the program were selected based on objective criteria, such as pavement conditions, traffic volumes and crash history.

    Notable projects taking place in Manar’s district in the next 12 months are listed by county below:

    Macon

    • 5.94 miles of road rehabilitation on Old Route 36 from Interstate 72 to 0.2 miles west of Harristown Boulevard, and on U.S. 51 from I-72 to 0.3 miles south of Cantrell Road
    • 2.7 miles of pavement rehabilitation on U.S. 51 from I-72 to Illinois 121 in Decatur
    • 0.74 miles of pavement rehabilitation on Illinois 121 and 22nd Street in Decatur from 0.1 mile south of Kile Street to the Garfield Avenue underpass in Decatur
    • 5.95 miles of pavement reconstruction on I-72 from 4.4 miles west to .3 miles west of the Piatt County line

     

    Christian County

    • 5.5 miles of pavement improvements on U.S. Route 51 from the Shelby County line to one mile north of Assumption

     

    Madison

    • 6.77 miles of pavement rehabilitation on Illinois 159 from the Macoupin County line to 0.3 miles north of Illinois 140

     

    Montgomery

    • 13.11 miles of pavement preservation on the Nokomis Blacktop from Illinois 127 to 0.2 miles east of E. 20th Road

     

    Sangamon

    • Development of the Springfield-Sangamon County Transportation Center

     

    Macoupin

    • 1.24 miles of road reconstruction along County Highway 14 and Brighton Bunker Hill Road from Fosterburg Road to Shipman Cutoff Road
  • Manar moves to memorialize MLK Jr.’s 1965 speech at Illinois AFL-CIO convention

    manar 022620“If our two movements unite their social pioneering initiatives, thirty years from now people will look back on this day and honor those who had the vision to see the full possibilities of modern society and the courage to fight for their realization,” said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., referring to the Civil Rights and Labor Movements, in a 1965 address at the Illinois State AFL-CIO’s 8th annual convention.

    SPRINGFIELD – Nearly 55 years after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his renowned speech at the Illinois State AFL-CIO’s 8th annual convention, in which he predicted that future generations would look back and honor those who sought to unite the Civil Rights and Labor Movements, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker) is leading an effort to make Dr. King’s words a reality.

  • Manar encourages local food, housing nonprofits to apply for Charitable Trust grants

    Senator ManarBUNKER HILL - State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) is encouraging small Central Illinois nonprofits that specialize in food and housing assistance to apply for grants under the state’s Charitable Trust Stabilization Fund, a biannual program administered by the Illinois State Treasurer’s office intended to support nonprofits across the state with annual budgets of $1 million or less.

    The Treasurer’s office recently announced that it will double the number of recipients for the fall 2020 grant cycle in response to challenges related to COVID-19.

    “The Charitable Trust grant opportunity comes at a critical time for the nonprofit sector in my district, which is largely made up of small, community-based groups that consistently make a profound impact on already modest budgets,” Manar said. “However, the pandemic has caused unforeseen financial shortfalls, while simultaneously deepening the need for food and housing support.”

    The Charitable Trust Stabilization Fund will offer a total of $375,000 to be split between 30 nonprofits. The maximum award amount is $12,500 for each organization.

    Applications will be accepted from July 1 through Sept. 30 in two categories: Food Programs and Housing Programs.

    “Any eligible Central Illinois nonprofit that needs assistance with the application process should reach out to my office directly,” Manar said. “My staff and I stand ready to help as best we can.”

    Applicants will need to complete the online application in full, including all requested documents and forms, at ilcharitabletrust.com. Applicants without access to a computer or the internet should contact the Treasurer’s office at (217) 836-4590.

  • State awards $307,000 to support adult literacy programs in Decatur, Springfield

    adult literacy 070920Manar urges skilled tutors to volunteer

    SPRINGFIELD – With $307,645 in grant funding from the Illinois Secretary of State headed to local organizations to promote adult literacy, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) is urging skilled tutors to volunteer to work with students to develop reading, math, writing and English-language skills.

    “The adult literacy grants will help put thousands of adult learners on a path toward building a brighter future for themselves and their families,” Manar said. “I encourage tutors in Decatur and Springfield to consider donating their time and abilities to help equip students with skills they will use for a lifetime.”

    Statewide, more than 13,500 students will be served by adult literacy programs. Nearly 6,000 volunteer tutors provide skills training for students. Adult literacy projects help Illinois adults who read below the ninth-grade level or speak English at a beginning level to improve their reading, writing, math or English as a second language skills.

    The following organizations in Manar’s district will receive grants:

    Baby TALK

    Decatur

    $50,000.00

    Richland Community College

    Decatur

    $100,000.00

    Lincoln Land Community College

    Springfield

    $64,976.00

    Fishes & Loaves Outreach

    Springfield

    $92,669.00

    “Fishes & Loaves and Baby TALK uplift and empower young adults in a way that few other organizations can,” Manar said. “I was pleased to learn that the state will help advance their missions.”

    The Adult Literacy Program is administered by the Secretary of State’s Illinois State Library Literacy Office and awards grants in three categories:

    • Adult Volunteer Literacy Grants provide training for volunteers who tutor those ages 17 and older in basic reading, math, writing or language skills. Participating literacy providers include libraries, volunteer tutoring organizations, community-based organizations, community colleges, regional offices of education, schools (individual and public), preschool programs, school districts, domestic violence shelters and correctional facilities.
    • Penny Severns Family Literacy Grants provide educational services to parents and children to enhance basic reading, math, writing or language skills. Programs must partner with an adult literacy provider, a child-at-risk agency and a public library.
    • The Workplace Skills Enhancement Project Grants provide onsite instructional services to employees of participating Illinois businesses, enabling them to enhance their basic reading, writing or language skills and to improve their chances for promotion. Eligible employees must read at or below the ninth-grade level. Grantees must match the grant award and provide instructional services to prospective employees. The fiscal agent and submitting agency may be either the educational partner or the business partner.

    People interested in becoming volunteer tutors are encouraged to contact the Illinois Adult Learning Hotline at 800-321-9511.

  • Pritzker signs Manar proposal to cover cancer clinical trials for Medicaid beneficiaries

    manar 031120SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Medicaid recipients are now eligible for life-saving clinical trials to treat cancer and other serious diseases.

    This afternoon, Governor Pritzker enacted Senate Bill 1864, a health care package that includes a proposal by Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) requiring the state’s Medicaid program to cover routine care costs incurred for an approved clinical trial involving the prevention, detection, or treatment of cancer or any other life-threatening disease, as long as Medicaid would normally cover those same routine care costs for a non-clinical procedure.

    “It’s not an exaggeration to say that this law will save lives. For too long, some people were granted access to the most advanced and potentially life-saving cancer treatment, and others weren’t, simply depending on which insurance plan they had. That injustice ended today,” Manar said. “I appreciate Governor Pritzker’s demonstrated commitment to advancing equity in health care.”

    Initially introduced and carried through the Senate by Manar, the initiative was included in a broader health care package passed by the General Assembly during the abbreviated special session in May.

    More than 20% of Illinoisans are covered by Medicaid, making it the second largest type of insurance behind Medicare.

    Medicare and private insurance carriers are already required to provide coverage for routine care costs in clinical trial participation. Medicaid is not. This legislation would align Medicaid coverage for clinical trials with coverage under those insurance plans.

    Because routine costs would be paid for by Medicaid if the patient were not on a clinical trial, there is minimal cost difference for Medicaid to cover these costs within a clinical trial.

    Manar worked closely with the American Cancer Society to draft the proposal.

    “The state has taken an important step to ensure the viability of new cancer research in our state and to allow an additional 20% of Illinois residents to have access to the latest treatments and therapies,” said Shana Crews, Government Relations Director at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “We look forward to working with state leaders to further reduce Illinois’ cancer burden.”

  • Senators join Pritzker to launch Connect Illinois plan, announce $50 million in broadband expansion grants

    broadband 062520

  • Manar announces $4.2 million broadband expansion grant for Macoupin, northern Madison Counties

    broadband 062420STAUNTON - Approximately 9,283 businesses, farms, households, and other institutions in Macoupin and Madison Counties will gain or see improved access to high-speed internet with the help of a $4.2 million broadband expansion grant to Staunton-based Madison Communications, Inc. announced today by Governor JB Pritzker and State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill).

    These funds are being released as part of Connect Illinois, the governor’s plan to bring basic access to every community in the state by 2024. This plan aims to improve access through an unprecedented capital investment and with the nation’s largest grant matching program.

    "High speed internet is an absolute necessity for economic growth and our ability to deliver high-quality education and health care. For rural families and businesses, the effects of the digital divide have been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic," Manar said. "Bold investments in broadband expansion under the Connect Illinois plan are the most impactful steps we can take to strengthen economic viability and secure a promising future for rural communities like those in Macoupin and northern Madison Counties. I appreciate the Pritzker administration’s commitment to closing this disparity in all corners of our state."

    Marking the first round of Connect Illinois grants, the $50 million in total investments announced today will be matched by $65 million in non-state funds to support 28 projects across Illinois. They are expected to expand internet access to more than 26,000 homes, businesses, farms, and community institutions.

    “Connect Illinois is about the right of all our communities to access health care, education, and economic opportunity – because in the 21st century, all those rights are tied to digital connectivity,” Pritzker said. “The unacceptable consequences of disparities in broadband access were clear before the COVID-19 pandemic – and over the last few months, we’ve seen firsthand what it means when a small business that had to close its doors has no online shop, what it means when an elderly couple has no safe way to get medical advice at a distance, what it means when a child has no ability to access homework assignments online. This work has never been more urgent – the disadvantages that persist when our communities are left out of opportunity demand ambitious efforts to bring them to a close.”

    The Connect Illinois plan responds to the needs of key industries and business sectors that lack reliable, affordable internet access due to a number of factors, including their location. Farm and agriculture is one of those sectors – with an estimated 40% of farmers in Illinois underserved or completely unserved by reliable internet access.

    The state’s largest-ever broadband expansion initiative, Connect Illinois includes a $400 million broadband grant program and a $20 million capital program for the Illinois Century Network, a high-speed broadband network serving K-12 and higher education institutions, among others.

    Another round of Connect Illinois grants is expected to be released later this year. More information on these and other grant programs can be found on DCEO’s website.

  • Manar appointed to Legislative Budget Oversight Commission

    manar 022620SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) has been appointed to the bipartisan Illinois Legislative Budget Oversight Commission, which is charged with monitoring discretionary spending by the governor’s office and local governments related to the new state budget and federal relief funding.

    “The unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has and will continue to create unprecedented challenges to our state budget and the way we conduct business, which requires us to find unconventional ways of providing heightened oversight and accountability,” Manar said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to ensure that federal and state funds issued in response to COVID-19 are used in the best interest of public health and the economic recovery of families and small businesses.”

    The commission will provide a means of open communication regarding budgetary matters between the legislature and the governor’s office, and examine distribution and expenditure of federal financial relief related to the COVID-19 by state and local governments.

    Beginning in August, the governor’s office will be required to issue a monthly written report to the commission detailing any discretionary spending or action that is inconsistent with the fiscal year 2021 budget approved by the General Assembly, including any actions that repurposed more than 2% of any budget line.

    A representative of the governor’s office will provide a verbal report on these matters to the commission on a quarterly basis in-person, via telephone or videoconference.

    At the request of the commission, units of local governments would be required to report on the status of federal funding distributed under the CARES Act.

    The 22-member body is made up of Democratic and Republican legislators from both chambers of the General Assembly. Members of the commission will serve without compensation.

    The Illinois Legislative Budget Commission was created by Senate Bill 2135.

  • Senate President Don Harmon announces appointments to Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission

    harmon 03052020CM0660SPRINGFIELD, IL – Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) announced four appointees to the Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission, a group created to help guide Illinois through the reopening process following stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of coronavirus.

    Senators Christopher Belt (D-Centreville), Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) and Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) will represent Senate Democrats on the commission. 

  • Manar: Applications now available for $60 million in Business Interruption Grants

    BIGGrants2 FBSPRINGFIELD – Governor JB Pritzker, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) announced this week that applications are now available for the new Business Interruption Grant program, which will make $60 million available for 3,500 small businesses affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

    "Working together, Governor Pritzker and the General Assembly made Business Interruption Grants a priority in this year's state budget,” Manar said. “Making sure small business owners in all parts of Illinois have access to much needed financial assistance is imperative as we continue to fight the ongoing impact of COVID-19. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and we should do everything we can to support them."

    Manar, a lead budgeteer in the Illinois Senate, successfully advocated for BIG funding in the new state budget, which was approved by the General Assembly last month.

    The BIG program, administered by DCEO, is part of over $900 million in new programs recently announced by Governor Pritzker, with a focus on restoring communities hit hardest by the pandemic.

    “This virus has had devastating effects on the health and livelihoods of our residents, and we must take aggressive action to help our families and communities recover,”said Gov. Pritzker. “As our small businesses reopen their doors, these grant programs will provide critical support to allow them to safely expand their operations. We cannot recover without our small businesses leading the way, particularly in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by this virus, and this administration is committed to using all resources at our disposal to help them thrive.”

    Grants will be made available for small businesses in amounts ranging between $10,000-$20,000, depending on business type and other eligibility criteria. Eligible businesses include restaurants and bars, barbershops and salons, and gyms and fitness centers.

    Businesses must also have been in operation for at least three months prior to March 2020.

    The first wave of BIG funding will prioritize businesses that have experienced extreme hardship, demonstrated by revenue losses exceeding the amount they are applying for and caused by following the state’s public health guidance. Priority will also be given to those located in disproportionately impacted areas. DIAs are low-income areas that have experienced high rates of COVID-19 cases.

    BIG funds may be used to help businesses cover the costs of payroll, rent, utilities and other working capital during the time they have experienced interruptions due to COVID.

    A full list of criteria, as well as the application, can be found on DCEO’s website. Businesses and community partners can assess their eligibility and gather any documents needed to complete the application before it opens for submission on Friday, June 26 at 9 a.m.

    All applications must be submitted by Monday, July 7 at 5 p.m.

  • PNC reverses decision to close East Side branch after Manar, U.S. Senators voice concerns

    pncbank 062220SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth are applauding PNC Financial Services’ decision to reverse plans to shutter its branch on Springfield’s East Side.

    “I appreciate that PNC’s leadership team listened to our concerns and will continue serving the East Side. The damaging effects that branch closures have on families and businesses is well-documented and both a contributor to and a reflection of widening racial wealth inequality,” Manar said. “We can’t begin to address the immense economic disparities facing our state and country when banks are leaving underserved communities and predatory lenders are setting up shop.”

  • Manar: Worden is a small town doing big things

    manar 121919WORDEN – Village of Worden Mayor Preston Hall welcomed State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) on Wednesday to tour the former Worden Elementary School, which could soon be home to a facility for Madison County residents to host civic events, family activities, and other outings.

    Manar is working with the village to secure state grant funds to support Mayor Hall’s plan to repurpose the building as the Worden Community Center.

    “As a former mayor of a small, rural town, I know they rarely have the resources to support projects like developing a community center from the ground up, meaning municipal leaders must find creative ways to develop and improve recreational amenities,” Manar said. “Worden is a small town doing big things thanks to Mayor Halls’ resourcefulness and relentless advocacy. The Worden Community Center will be a benefit to local families, youth and senior organizations, and the village for decades.”

    “This Community Center project will not only preserve the memories of many Worden residents, but it will create new memories for many years to come,” Mayor Hall said. “The funds secured for this project will help bring life back to a building that was built in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration in the center of our town. We are very thankful for the senator’s effort in securing these funds and for his understanding of the importance of helping small towns in his district that often get overlooked in favor of bigger towns.”

    After Worden merged into the Edwardsville Public School District, the facility was acquired last year by the Village of Worden.

  • Manar donates face shields to support Crossing Healthcare workers

    manar 061820DECATUR – To support Decatur’s frontline health workers leading the fight against COVID-19, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) partnered with John Deere, the United Auto Workers, and the Illinois Manufacturers Association today to deliver 350 face shields to Crossing Healthcare.

    “Crossing Healthcare is extremely grateful to Senator Manar and the team at John Deere for their generous donation of 350 face shields to our clinic. These face shields will allow our medical providers to continue to provide COVID testing and ongoing care to the community,” said Crossing Healthcare CEO Tanya Andricks. “Supporting community health centers in this way means supporting our mission and values. At a time when health disparities are being exposed, Crossing Healthcare will continue to work diligently to fill those gaps for everyone. We are glad to be joined in these efforts by Senator Manar and John Deere.”

    Crossing Healthcare is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides primary outpatient medical care to Macon and surrounding Counties. It is one of two COVID-19 testing sites serving the Decatur Community, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health website.

    “Crossing Healthcare is integral to Decatur’s COVID-19 response. We wanted to find a way to support the efforts of Tanya Andricks and the Crossing staff as they continue provide high quality primary care and health services, while also serving as a leading testing hub in this community,” Manar said. “Thank you to John Deere, the United Auto Workers, and the Illinois Manufacturers Association for their partnership.”

    Personal protective equipment prices are volatile due to the current shortage, and some providers have struggled to acquire adequate supplies.

    Face shields are a type of personal protective equipment used by medical personnel that protect the wearer's entire face from hazards such as flying objects, chemical splashes, or potentially infectious materials.

  • Manar announces $80,000 grant for Route History in Springfield

    Senator ManarSPRINGFIELD— State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) announced this week that an $80,047 grant has been awarded to Route History in Springfield as part of the state’s Minority-Owned Business Capital and Infrastructure Program.

    Route History is an organization focused on teaching the stories of tragedy, resilience, and triumph of Black people along the Historic Route 66 and in Springfield – stories that serve as a reminder of struggles and consistent perseverance towards excellence in spite of overwhelming systemic racism and injustices. Route History also leverages resources to support sustainable and transformative community projects.

    “Route History plays an important role in Springfield, not only by telling the stories that shaped this community, but by taking initiative to help build a brighter future for its children,” Manar said. “At this particular moment in society, Route History’s mission and purpose couldn’t be more important. The state’s investment in Route History will strengthen programs and projects that educate, uplift and empower African-American youth in Springfield.”

    "I'm very pleased that Route History will be receiving a Minority-Owned Business Capital and Infrastructure Grant," said Springfield Alderwoman Doris Turner. "They are doing extremely important work regarding race reconciliation and community engagement around Springfield's racial history that has, until this point, been lost."

    Created by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Minority Economic Empowerment, the grants will equip minority-owned firms with resources to create jobs, build capacity, and revitalize properties in underserved communities. Recipients were required to outline project proposals as part of a competitive application process.

    In total, the program awarded $11 million in grants to 32 businesses and organizations throughout the state. Grant recipients represent underserved communities across Illinois, as defined by the Community Development Block Grant program.

    Individual applicants were eligible to receive up to $500,000 per project, and the amount of the award is based on anticipated costs associated with meeting project requirements and bond guidelines.

    A list of Minority-Owned Business Capital and Infrastructure grant recipients can be found here.

  • Manar statement on the passing of former Illinois State Senator Art Berman

    art berman 060820BUNKER HILL – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement today regarding the passing of former Illinois State Senator Arthur Berman:

    “Art Berman will be remembered as a champion in Illinois for equity in public education. As a former policy staffer for members of the Senate Democrats, it was during his tenure leading the Education Committee in the Illinois Senate that I first came to understand the monumental political and policy challenges of school funding reform.

    “Years later, Senator Berman served as a trusted advisor during my sponsorship of many pieces of legislation to advance school funding reform.  I recall him pointedly saying to me over the telephone when I told him that Governor Rauner had all but thwarted our ongoing efforts: ‘Do not stop.  Do not give up.’

    “Senator Berman’s unfaltering voice for equity during his tenure in the Illinois Senate carved a path for the passage and implementation of SB 1946—The Invest in Kids Act—in the summer of 2017. He will be deeply missed.”

  • State releases $1.3 million to support critical access pharmacies in rural, underserved areas

    Sen. Andy ManarBUNKER HILL – More than 70 critical access pharmacies, primarily in rural and underserved downstate communities, will benefit from $1.3 million in payments released on Saturday by Illinois Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza under a program championed by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill).

    The payments were released under the Critical Access Pharmacy program for pharmacies that have experienced serious financial difficulty because of lower rates offered under the state’s managed care program and also because of rate cuts by pharmacy benefit managers. To qualify for the CAP Program, pharmacies must be located in medically underserved areas, as determined by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

  • Comptroller Mendoza sets record straight on pay raise rumors

    Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza

    BUNKER HILL – Some Illinois lawmakers took to social media this week to disingenuously spread misinformation regarding pay increases for legislators in the state budget approved early Sunday morning, prompting Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza to step in and issue a statement dispelling the falsehood. Now, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) says some of his colleagues willfully deceived the public for political gain.

    “There is not a single member of the Illinois House or Senate who will receive a pay raise. My colleagues in the Senate are aware of this now and were aware of this when we voted,” Manar said. “At a time when our constituents are all feeling economic hardship and angst, for lawmakers to knowingly suggest otherwise is cheap, disingenuous, and indicative of the worst of our politics. The people we represent deserve better and are owed the truth.”

  • General Assembly approves Manar measure to cover cancer clinical trials for Medicaid beneficiaries

    cancertrial 052720SPRINGFIELD – With Gov. Pritzker’s signature, Illinois Medicaid recipients would be eligible for life-saving clinical trials to treat cancer and other serious diseases.

    During the abbreviated session last week, the Illinois General Assembly approved a plan by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) that would require Medicaid to cover routine care costs incurred for an approved clinical trial involving the prevention, detection, or treatment of cancer or any other life-threatening disease, as long as Medicaid would normally cover those same routine care costs for a non-clinical procedure.

    “This is a major stride toward health care equity that will save lives. Access to the latest, most advanced cancer treatments can mean the difference between life and death for patients, treatments that they are unable to access today,” Manar said. “The type of insurance you have shouldn’t disqualify you from accessing treatment that could save your life.”

    More than 20% of Illinoisans are covered by Medicaid, making it the second largest type of insurance behind Medicare.

    Medicare and private insurance carriers are already required to provide coverage for routine care costs in clinical trial participation. Medicaid is not. This legislation would align Medicaid coverage for clinical trials with coverage under those insurance plans.

    Because routine costs would be paid for by Medicaid if the patient were not on a clinical trial, there is minimal cost difference for Medicaid to cover these costs within a clinical trial.

    This legislation was an initiative of the American Cancer Society.

    “We thank the legislature for taking this step and look forward to working with them to continue to reduce Illinois’ cancer burden in the near future,” said Shana Crews, Government Relations Director at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.