Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement regarding today’s vote in the Illinois Senate to advance a balanced budget proposal and establish desperately needed fiscal stability in Illinois:

“This is a balanced, full-year budget with no new spending and $3 billion in cuts to government programs. Just as important, it lives within the governor’s recommended spending level outlined in the Fiscal Year 2018 budget he proposed in February.

“We coupled this budget with a series of reforms that reflect our priorities, as well as those of the governor, including term limits on legislative leaders, school funding reform, pension reform, procurement reform and local government consolidation.

“Coupled with the reforms we’ve already passed this spring and ones will continue to look at, I think we are well on our way to sending to Gov. Rauner a plan that should meet all of his requirements to stop holding the state of Illinois hostage after two years.

“Should that day come, perhaps then Gov. Rauner will be able to turn his attention to finding immediate solutions to such pressing downstate matters as school funding reform, job creation, the shortage of rural teachers and nurses, and the opioid crisis that’s sweeping Illinois.”

Category: Latest News

ManarPresser05192017State Senator Andy Manar is urging Illinois school superintendents to be aware that misleading figures are being peddled about Senate Bill 1, the school funding plan that passed in the Illinois Senate this week.

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office this afternoon acknowledged the figures are inaccurate and outdated but stopped short of denouncing them.

“This appears to be a textbook example of fake news. I am disturbed as to how and why this information was put out there and framed as official information from the Rauner administration, clearly with the intent of confusing and misleading people about Senate Bill 1,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat.

“Senate Democrats have asked the executive inspector general to look into that, but right now I want to make sure school superintendents are aware that outdated information is fraudulently being passed off as up-to-date news about Senate Bill 1.

“Furthermore, I hope Gov. Rauner and Education Secretary Beth Purvis will follow our lead and alert school officials about this misleading information to set the record straight. Anything less makes them complicit in a concerted effort to jeopardize Illinois’ shot at achieving meaningful school funding reform.”

Category: Latest News

Manar05172017Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), a widely respected advocate for fair school funding in Illinois, issued the following statement regarding criticism leveled by the Rauner administration today immediately following the Senate’s passage of Senate Bill 1, a school funding reform measure sponsored by Manar:

“The Rauner administration and Republicans want to behave like this is a vexing new problem that Illinois has never tried to tackle before. The truth is this is a more than 20-year-old problem that we have studied to death, repeatedly debated and willfully ignored.

“In Gov. Rauner’s perfect world, Illinois’ aging public schools would feature teachers that are paid less, support services that are outsourced and very little accountability to the communities they serve.

“That’s not the world we live in. We owe it to our students of today and our students of tomorrow to deal with Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation school funding formula now. Educators, parents, taxpayers, students and advocates are clamoring for change, and we would be remiss to not get this done before May 31. Gov. Rauner knows this, and so does his education secretary, Beth Purvis.

“Here’s the bottom line: The only opposition that exists to Senate Bill 1 is from Bruce Rauner and his enablers, who for some reason refuse to show independence from the governor when it comes time to do the right thing.

“Gov. Rauner and his team can put out all the statements they want claiming I abandoned the bipartisan process. I can sleep at night knowing I’ve never abandoned Illinois students or leveraged the state’s future for a political agenda.”

Category: Latest News

Manar Buffington KahlA prescription dated 1987 was among the unwanted medications turned in during a drug takeback event in Macoupin County sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar, local pharmacies and county officials.

The event was meant to raise awareness about opioid abuse in Macoupin County and to encourage area residents to dispose of old, unused and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications from their homes. Studies have linked the explosion in heroin abuse to increased availability of prescription opioid painkillers.

“Unused medication has a way of stacking up in our homes because we think we might need it later or we’re not sure how to get rid of it,” said Manar (D-Bunker Hill). “What we’re seeing today, however, is that these pills are magnets for theft because they fuel addiction. The best thing we all can do is get into the habit of routinely purging unwanted and expired medications from our homes.”

In all, area residents disposed of more than 100 pounds of medications during the drug takeback, which occurred April 29 at four pharmacies in Macoupin County: Sullivan’s Pharmacy in Staunton and Michelle’s Pharmacy locations in Carlinville, Bunker Hill and Gillespie.

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Category: Latest News

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