Welcome

Welcome to my legislative website. I am proud to serve as the State Senator from Illinois’ 48th District. I hope you’ll find this site a useful resource in keeping up-to-date with what’s happening in our district and in Springfield. Please contact any of my offices with questions or ways I can better serve you.

It is my honor to represent you in Springfield.

Sincerely,
ManarSig
State Senator Andy Manar
48th Legislative District

Manar Maple Street StaffLeft to right: Kent Tarro (Macoupin County Public Health Department Administrator), Christy Blank (Director of Maple Street Clinic), Senator Manar, Kate Force (Public Health Nurse), and Bob Deist (MRC Volunteer)

GILLESPIE - As a show of support for the frontline health care workers serving rural communities in Macoupin and Montgomery Counties, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) delivered lunch to the staff and administrators at the Macoupin County Health Department’s Maple Street Clinic on Thursday.

“I wanted to take a moment to extend a small token of our gratitude for the frontline workers who work diligently each day to keep our community safe and healthy.” Manar said. “We continue to make progress toward a strong economic recovery, and we have these workers to thank. We want them to know their hard work and dedication is appreciated.”

The lunch was purchased from Blackbird Bakery and Café in Staunton.

As the only drive-thru testing center within a 40-minute drive, the Macoupin County Public Health Department in Gillespie has emerged as the center of the COVID-19 response for communities between Springfield and the Metro East.

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DECATUR – Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) reaffirmed the state’s commitment to supporting access to early childhood education, after school programs, and child care at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. The press conference followed a tour of the Boys and Girls Club of Decatur’s child care facility, which opened this week for its 2020 summer camp program.

Manar spoke to the decision to protect funding for child care and community-based providers in the state’s recently-passed fiscal year 2021 budget.

“We are able to reopen child care facilities and community-based providers, because we prioritized that funding in the budget this year,” said Manar, who chairs the Illinois Senate Appropriations II Committee and serves as a lead budget negotiator for the Illinois Senate majority party. “We chose not to slash and burn programs that support youth and at-risk youth, which would be detrimental to communities like Decatur. We made that choice, and I know it was the right decision.”

“I think average folks think that budget is a pretty boring thing to talk about, but a budget is a moral document,” Pritzker said. “The investments we make of who we are as a people here in the state. It’s an expression of what we believe in.”

Manar also highlighted the importance of making sure youth programs can sustain their mission for the duration of challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. He pointed to the work of the Boys & Girls Club of Decatur Executive Director Shamika Bond and her staff as an example of a group that consistently serves as a positive force in the lives of underserved families who are most vulnerable to the economic fallout related to COVID-19.

“COVID-19 hasn’t gone away. It will be part of our lives for months to come without question. In order to combat that the disease, we have to make sure community level providers have the funding for adequate resources and staff,” Manar said. “That means funding programs like Teen REACH and giving resources to Shamika Bond and her staff, so when parents go back to work, there’s an option for children to experience a productive atmosphere. The governor and I are proud to support them, because we know they pay dividends for children in Decatur.”

“During these devastating times, we stayed true to our mission by continuing to serve the youth in our community by providing after-hour meals, mentorship, and we continued with recognition,” Bond said. “We were afraid of the unknown. We were afraid of each other, but most importantly, we were afraid for those children that needed us most. Our children more than ever need leadership, guidance and support.”

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Mendoza Manar 2(AP Photo by John O’Connor)

BUNKER 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.

“The current public health crisis reinforces the importance of the small, independent pharmacies that are vital to the health and economic viability of rural communities,” Manar said. “Neighborhood pharmacies are facing a double bind of predatory practices by corporate competitors and increased costs due to volatile supply chains amid the pandemic. Despite that, they’ve been a trusted source of local medical care for rural families, and these payments will ensure that service continues.”

Manar has negotiated funding for the CAP Program in the state’s budget for the past three years, including the recently passed fiscal year 2021 budget. He also championed a number of measures aimed at providing relief to rural pharmacies and reining in monopoly power and profiteering by the pharmacy benefit manager industry.

Earlier this year, Manar successfully lobbied Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Theresa Eagleson to expedite payments under the CAP program as a way to help rural pharmacies brace for the spread of COVID-19. The program disbursed nearly $1 million in March.

Saturday’s payment was the fourth payment to critical access pharmacies under the program. The comptroller released $4.7 million in payments on July 1 and $1.9 million on Dec. 10 last year.

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BUNKER HILL – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) is encouraging Central Illinois communities to apply for the Illinois Connected Communities grant program aimed at helping local governments, schools, and community organizations expand their broadband capacity.

Unveiled this month by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development, the $150,000 program will provide professional expertise and grants of up to $15,000 to help communities close existing gaps and lay the groundwork for improved broadband access, adoption and utilization.

“Lack of connectivity is one of the most urgent challenges facing rural families, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” Manar said. “No access to internet could mean no access to remote learning, telehealth services, job opportunities, and a number of government services. This program will be an excellent tool for rural communities in need of a stronger and more robust broadband infrastructure now and for the future.”

Illinois Communities Connected grantees will participate in a combination of focused in-person and/or online community-specific, cohort-wide, and regional activities throughout a period of up to 12-months. These activities will build toward the creation of a community-driven broadband strategic plan. At any point during the program, communities may invest their grant funding toward one or more of the following:
  • Connected Community staff time or overhead
  • Study, planning, or preparation for broadband access, adoption or utilization
  • Additional broadband-related support, technical assistance or consultative services

The grants will be awarded on a competitive basis, and applications will be accepted here through June 12.

Communities seeking more information on the grant program are encouraged to tune in to the next Developing Broadband Leadership webinar at 11:30 am on Wednesday, June 3. To register, visit https://web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=21891.

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COVID19 Updates

Insulin Costs in IL

School Funding Reform

 

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Contact Me

Springfield Office:
119A Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-0228

Decatur Office:
Macon County Office Building
141 S. Main St., Suite 502
Decatur, IL 62523
Phone: (217) 429-8110

Bunker Hill Office:
115 N. Washington, P.O. Box 636
Bunker Hill, IL 62014
Phone: (618) 585-4848