TAYLORVILLE – An ambulance service that has assisted injured Taylorville residents since a series of tornadoes swept through the city Saturday night will receive an expedited payment of money owed by the state, State Senator Andy Manar announced today.

At Manar’s request, the Illinois comptroller is accelerating a payment of $18,680 to Dunn’s Ambulance Service in Taylorville.

Numerous people were injured and hundreds of structures were damaged or destroyed because of the tornadoes. Cleanup and recovery efforts have resulted in additional injuries.

“I appreciate the comptroller prioritizing the needs of Taylorville as people here work to get their lives back on track,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat whose district includes Christian County and Taylorville.

The payment will be released later today. It largely represents Medicaid vouchers that have been submitted to the comptroller’s office for payment.

Additionally, the comptroller has expedited payments to Taylorville Memorial Hospital throughout the week, bringing the total so far to $283,000. That money also largely represents Medicaid vouchers that had been submitted to the comptroller’s office for payment. The comptroller intends to continue prioritizing payments to the hospital as the community recovers.

“Our hearts go out to those recovering and rebuilding after the severe storms,” Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza said this week.

Residents and businesses that are experiencing immediate problems or challenges as a result of Saturday’s storms may call Manar’s district office in Bunker Hill at 618-585-4848.

TAYLORVILLE – The Illinois comptroller is expediting a state payment of $221,594 to Taylorville Memorial Hospital after the city was struck by a tornado during the weekend, State Senator Andy Manar announced today.

Christian County was declared a state disaster area Monday after severe storms and tornadoes tore across central Illinois. Numerous people were injured and hundreds of structures were damaged or destroyed.

“Expediting this payment is the right thing to do for the people of Taylorville, and I appreciate the comptroller prioritizing the community’s needs,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat whose district includes Christian County.

The money, which was owed by the state to Taylorville Memorial, was processed Monday, according to the comptroller’s office.

“Our hearts go out to those recovering and rebuilding after the severe storms,” said Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza.

Residents who are experiencing immediate problems or challenges as a result of Saturday’s severe storms may call Manar’s district office in Bunker Hill at 618-585-4848.

Manar and Emma Kelly 650

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar welcomed Emma Kelly, a senior at Taylorville High School, to the Capitol this week as his senator for the day.

Kelly, 17, of Taylorville is the daughter of Cheryl Graham. She is a member of the National Honor Society, plays soccer and volunteers at Taylorville Memorial Hospital. She enjoys CrossFit and works part-time at Incredibly Delicious in Springfield.

Kelly visited the Capitol on Wednesday, Nov. 28. While there, she toured the building and accompanied Manar on the Senate floor for a busy afternoon of debate and votes on key legislation, including veto overrides.

She plans to attend a four-year university after graduation to pursue a career in the field of public health.

SPRINGFIELD – More than $16 million in state funds are available for rural and downstate schools to expand internet access and close the broadband gap, State Senator Andy Manar announced today.

The Illinois State Board of Education is accepting proposals from school districts that need to expand high-speed broadband and Wi-Fi access in classrooms. Manar (D-Bunker Hill), chairman of one of the Senate’s two budget committees, ensured money was included in the current state budget to help rural school districts access broadband internet so they can offer a 21st century education to students. The effort had bipartisan support.

“Schools can no longer get by without high-speed internet and digital resources in classrooms,” Manar said. “Students in many rural and downstate areas of Illinois are at a disadvantage because of the lack of reliable high-speed internet in classrooms and at home.”

Applications for funding are available at www.isbe.net/broadband. They are due by 4 p.m. Jan. 25. The Learning Technology Center of Illinois www.ltcillinois.org is offering free assistance to school districts to help with their applications.

In Illinois, 77 school districts need fiber connections, and 31 need bandwidth upgrades, according to Education Superhighway, an organization that advocates for increased connectivity in schools.

The organization reports that more than 650,000 students in Illinois have gained access to high-speed internet since 2015 and that 96 percent of school districts have access to broadband now, up from 71 percent in 2015.

However, more than 400,000 Illinois students remain at a disadvantage when it comes to digital learning.

Fiber optic technology offers fast, affordable network speeds and allows school districts to cost-effectively scale up to meet growing bandwidth needs. The $16.3 million in available state funding will cover the costs of special construction projects for school districts with federal approval to install fiber optic cable lines.

To find out which area school districts are in need of upgrades, visit https://www.compareandconnectk12.org/.

 

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