Manar04022017The Rauner administration signed a five-year, $2.4 million lease for warehouse space in Springfield that it could have purchased for $750,000, a key Senate budget committee learned Tuesday.

The wasteful taxpayer-funded lease is a direct consequence of the governor’s refusal to propose and negotiate a state budget for a third straight year.

“There is a cost associated with failing to budget and with planning on the fly like this,” said Senator Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat and one of the Senate’s two appropriations committee chairmen. “This contract is a perfect example of how all Illinois taxpayers and their children eventually will pay a hefty price for Gov. Rauner’s inability to manage the state of Illinois in a reasonable, responsible manner.”

The contract was inked by the state’s Central Management Services on behalf of the Department of Human Services because DHS was desperate for a secure location to store records. According to testimony provided during Tuesday’s hearing:

  • DHS had been storing records in a state-owned building in Dwight, but it was not being maintained in a way that ensured the records were safe.
  • CMS put out for bid three times the need for warehouse space before settling on the Springfield location. Only two landlords responded – apparently a sign of property managers’ reluctance to do business with the state of Illinois, which is more than $12.6 billion behind in paying vendors.
  • The market value of the Springfield property is $1.1 million, and it could have been purchased by the state for $750,000; however, CMS is unable to purchase property at this time because of the lack of a state budget.
  • The Rauner administration continues to sign contracts with companies throughout Illinois while knowing there is no money appropriated in the budget to pay those companies.
  • DHS, with a green light from the governor’s office, handed out a total of $11 million in one-time bonuses to certain employees, even though Gov. Rauner suspended funding for autism, sexual assault, domestic violence and other programs.
  • The bonuses were distributed even as Gov. Rauner continues to object to state-authorized raises for direct-support employees who earn $9 per hour working for severely disabled individuals.

“I am troubled by all of this on so many levels, but ultimately what we have here is just another day of the governor making promises he can’t keep and refusing to do the job he was elected to do,” Manar said. “In other words, it’s business as usual for the Rauner administration.”

Category: Uncategorised

Floor 2SPRINGFIELD — A new state law provides the Christian County Emergency Telephone Systems Board with desperately needed state funding that had been frozen because of a veto by the governor this summer and the ongoing budget stalemate.

State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) voted Monday to pass legislation that guaranteed Christian County 911 receives its share of state emergency phone system funding.

“Christian County 911 faced financial disaster and could have simply ran out of money this month. I’m glad we were able to secure this funding, but it never should have gotten this far,” Manar said.

Read more: Manar: Christian County 911 to receive state funding

Category: Uncategorised

PlaygroundSPRINGFIELD – One Bunker Hill student asked a question and a new law that goes into effect with the new year is answering it.

Maddie Heflin, a fifth-grader at Wolf Ridge Elementary School, wondered why there isn’t playground equipment that kids with disabilities can use.

Luckily one of the people she asked was State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill).

Read more: New law prioritizes accessible playgrounds

Category: Uncategorised

Lawmakers consider changes in state incentives program (Sunday, December 8) Chicago Tribune

Sen. Andy Manar, a Democrat from Bunker Hill in central Illinois, said last week he expects suggestions on how to revamp the state's main economic development program during the spring session, which starts in January. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, which administers the program, is to propose suggested changes in a report.

Stonington to Get $450,000 For New Water Lines Thanks To Local And State Officials (Wednesday, November 27) Taylorville Daily News

State Senator Andy Manar (D–Bunker Hill) worked with Village Trustee Ryan Marucco to secure the grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO)’s Community Development Assistance Program, which is responsible for investing in improvements to municipal water and sewer systems throughout the state.

Manar, Wilsonville Community Outreach secure grant for playground equipment (Saturday, November 23) The BenGil Post

The Village of Wilsonville will soon have new additions to the local park thanks to an AT&T community award given to the Wilsonville Community Outreach program on Tuesday.

..."This was an all-hands-on-deck approach with local officials working with my office to secure the grant," Manar said.

ADM's tax-break bill in trouble in Springfield (Thursday, October 3) Crain's Chicago

Specifically, Mr. Manar said he'll oppose the bill unless ADM effectively replaces the headquarters jobs by adding 100 slots elsewhere in Decatur.

"I don't think we can ignore the fact that Decatur has the highest unemployment level in the state," as high as 25 percent in some neighborhoods, Mr. Manar said — particularly when the company wants a subsidy to move jobs within Illinois.

ADM's spokeswoman said the company "is negotiating" with Mr. Manar and will not comment on those talks right now.

Senator: Decatur Unemployment Must Be Considered In ADM Tax Breaks (Wednesday, October 2) WUIS

At a legislative hearing in Chicago, representatives of ADM told lawmakers they wanted incentives worth $1.2 million a year for up to 20 years. In return, the company would keep its headquarters in Illinois, likely in Chicago.

One lawmakers says it's "essentially blackmailing the state."

Others, like Sen. Andy Manar, a Democrat whose district includes Decatur, acknowledge they want to keep ADM in Illinois. However, Manar says, "We can't do that in one community at the expense of another, and I think that has to be part of the discussion as well."

ADM wants $20 million in taxpayer money from Illinois (Tuesday, October 1) Pantagraph

State Sen. Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat who represents Decatur, already has raised red flags about the deal, suggesting that lawmakers should not rush to approve it.

Among those attending the hearing was Decatur City Manager Ryan McCrady, who said the state should be careful about giving tax breaks to help companies leave economically hard-hit communities.

“We have real concerns about incentives coming into play for a business contemplating a move from one Illinois city to another Illinois city,” McCrady said

Lawmaker: ADM package offering ‘tens of millions’ in state tax breaks ‘unprecedented’ (Monday, September 30) Sun-Times Voices

The state shouldn’t fast-track “unprecedented” legislation to give Archer Daniels Midland tax breaks possibly worth “tens of millions” of dollars to locate a new global headquarters in Chicago, a lawmaker representing the firm’s Downstate base said Monday.

In the first sign of legislative turbulence for the ADM package, state Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), whose district covers Decatur, said he has had “countless conversations” with constituents “angered” by ADM’s recent announcement to move as many as 200 jobs out of Decatur.

“Now, only eight days later, there is legislation moving in the House of Representatives to give ADM tens of millions [of dollars] to potentially stay in Illinois and move to Chicago. Not so fast. Illinois is facing tough times. Decatur is facing tougher times with the highest unemployment rate in the state,” Manar said in a prepared statement.

Senate wants 5-year plan from Illinois economic development arm (Tuesday, May 28) Chicago Tribune

Manar said the increased reporting on incentive programs would give lawmakers a point of reference to measure the DCEO’s performance and whether the incentives are working.

The bill also creates a business council that would help the state market itself and aid DCEO with its business attraction and retention strategy.

Jessica Handy: Manar's education funding reform plan has potential (Monday, May 20) Springfield Journal - Register

It’s time for the legislature to get serious about education funding reform. And state Sen. Andy Manar’s Senate Joint Resolution 32, which passed the Senate without opposition this week, is a positive step toward a more fair funding system.

When funding is limited, our top priority is to protect the most vulnerable children. Every child has the fundamental right to a high-quality public education that prepares them for college, career and success in life.

Senate panel approves education funding advisory committee (Wednesday, May 1) Quad - City Times

In action Tuesday, a Senate panel endorsed a plan that would create an advisory committee to look at general state aid education funding and how it's spent across the state.

State Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, who sponsored the measure, said the methods for financing schools need attention.

"The distribution method of general state aid doesn't address the districts that are on the lower end of the spending spectrum," Manar said. "We have disparity that is getting worse in the state, not getting better."

Manar pushes for education funding reform (Tuesday, April 30) Springfield Journal - Register

Sen. Andy Manar thinks the state must change how it distributes education funding to school districts, and it would be best if it started from scratch.

“Absent of change, we know the path we’re on and it’s not going the right way,” the Bunker Hill Democrat said.

Under a joint resolution approved by a Senate Education committee Tuesday, an advisory panel would analyze Illinois’ expenditures and funding-distribution methods for public education. It is Manar’s hope that the 12-member legislative panel could figure out a better way to fund schools, because, he said, the current system “isn’t working.”

Senate panel OKs plan to look at how school funding is distributed (Tuesday, April 30) Pantagraph

In action Tuesday, a Senate panel endorsed a plan that would create an advisory committee to look at general state aid education funding and how it’s spent across the state.

State Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, who sponsored the measure, said the methods for financing schools need attention.

“The distribution method of general state aid doesn’t address the districts that are on the lower end of the spending spectrum,” Manar said. “We have disparity that is getting worse in the state, not getting better.”

Support Equity in Education Funding (Tuesday, April 30) Stand for Children

We have the second most inequitable education funding system of any state, largely due to our heavy reliance on property taxes.

And luckily, there’s a move in the legislature to really fix it. State Sen. Andy Manar wants to convene a bipartisan working group of legislators to get serious about education funding reform.

IFT Supports SJR 32: Call for a Review in School Funding Fairness (Tuesday, April 30) Illinois Federation of Teachers

...the Illinois Federation of Teachers supports Senate Joint Resolution 32. This resolution seeks to conduct a thorough review of the existing distribution methods and expenditures of education funding and make recommendations to implement a fair education funding system in every Illinois community.

Manar Promotes Enterprise Zone (Saturday, April 20) Alton Daily News

The former Macoupin County Board Chairman turned State Senator Andy Manar is looking at a piece of legislation he sponsored as a key to further enhancing Central Illinois' ability to do business.

...Manar is a Democrat, but feels he can reach across party lines to get things done at the state level.

Click here to listen to Senator Manar's comments on WBGZ 1570.

Illinois' unemployment rises while national rate falls (Saturday, April 20) Springfield Journal - Register

Not all was gloomy in the Moody’s analysis. Illinois, the report stated, remains a major economic player in areas such as work force availability, research, availability of capital, natural resources and transportation.

“Longer term, Illinois has a lot of what businesses need to thrive — talent, access to customers and transportation — but painful fiscal reforms are needed before it can fully capitalize on these strengths,” Moody’s concluded.

Macon County gets chunk of state's road construction money (Thursday, April 18) Herald - Review

Illinois is on track to pump nearly $2.7 billion into road, rail and airport construction projects in the year beginning July 1, Gov. Pat Quinn said Wednesday.

The spending is part of a six-year, $12.6 billion construction program that will help launch the replacement of the Interstate 74 bridge over the Mississippi River in the Quad-Cities, continue the ongoing expansion of U.S. 51 near Pana and add new, environmentally friendly buses in Bloomington-Normal, Decatur and Southern Illinois.

State's unemployment rate subject of hearing (Tuesday, April 16) The Alton Telegraph

Mitch Daniels, the manager of the Workforce Analysis and Dissemination for the Illinois Department of Employment Security, said some of the downbeat statistics can be misleading.

For example, he said, there are fewer people who have dropped out of the labor force here than in other states. More people look for, but not finding, work results in a higher unemployment rate.

Bill would give control over school dissolution to communities (Monday, April 15) The Alton Telegraph

"The state should not force school consolidation on Downstate districts," Manar said. "Governor Quinn and other Chicago lawmakers have proposed forced consolidations in the past under the guise of saving the state money, but we learned from a study commissioned by the state that their 'cost-saving' proposal would actually cost the state an estimated $3.7 billion."

Manar proposal would expand opportunities for school consolidation (Wednesday, March 20) Springfield Journal - Register

The bill, Senate Bill 1877, sponsored by Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker-Hill, would allow a school district with more than 5,000 residents but fewer than 750 students to consolidate with another district without a referendum — speeding up what is typically a time-consuming process, he said.

IL Senator Proposes DCEO Overhaul (Tuesday, March 19) WSIU Public Broadcasting

"So what I'm interested in doing is trying to restructure the agency to some degree so that we can produce a better result in the state. And I think it's time that we had the conversation about how do we truly tackle unemployment in Illinois. Because I represent a district that has urban parts and has rural parts that have unemployment that is unacceptable."

Lawmakers want to shake up Illinois economic-development unit (Monday, March 18) Crain's Chicago Business

"They (DCEO) need to do better in terms of job creation. I don't think there are two people who disagree with me on that,” Mr. Manar said. To do that, “we need to give business a seat at the table. That would start a very positive discussion.”


Sen. Manar: Don't believe the rhetoric; Illinois is adding people (Wednesday, March 13) Springfield Journal - Register

But rather than constantly bemoan and denigrate our great state using false claims to perpetuate an idea that simply isn’t true, let’s forego the sound bites, and get to the root of the matter and set in motion ideas to meet the challenges we face.

Our Opinion: Consider Manar's plan to help Springfield schools
(Monday, March 4) Springfield Journal - Register

“The basic premise of this bill is if you’re going to base school funding on local properties, which we do in this state, then the state ought to account for situations like what District 186 finds itself in in relation to the large number of state properties that are located within the district,” Manar said.

Category: Uncategorised

School Funding Reform

 

eNewsletter Signup

eNewsletter Signup
  1. First Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  2. Last Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  3. Your Email(*)
    Please let us know your email address.

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