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 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:




Richland Community College



Lincoln Land Community College



Fishes & Loaves Outreach



“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.”

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.

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