SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement regarding Illinois Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, who will step down from his post this week when his contract ends:

“I want to thank Superintendent Smith for his service to the children, families, schools and communities of Illinois.

“Tony helped guide the state through a period of tremendous change. He was an ardent proponent of school funding reform and worked diligently with his team to implement those changes. He supervised the state’s application for the Every Student Succeeds Act. He has been a driving force behind efforts to diversify the teaching ranks in this state. He paid attention to the impact of rural poverty on public education, and he was a constant advocate for underserved children and public schools throughout Illinois.

“I wish him well as he pursues new challenges.”

bath salts passedSPRINGFIELD — State Senator Andy Manar’s (D-Bunker Hill) plan to fight the proliferation of bath salts sold by Illinois retailers was signed into law Monday after passing the House and Senate with full bipartisan support.

Bath salts, specifically known as synthetic cathinones, can be consumed in a variety of ways and can mimic the effect of amphetamine or PCP, often causing hallucinations.

“These drugs are extremely dangerous and have unpredictable effects on the user,” Manar said. “This plan gives our law enforcement officials more power to get them off our streets.”

Senate Bill 210 creates the Bath Salts Prohibition Act and bans Illinois retailers from selling synthetic cathinones that commonly are labeled as bath salts, plant food or jewelry cleaner.

Read more: Manar plan to halt sale of bath salts signed into law

IDOT billSPRINGFIELD- Road construction and public transportation programs under direction of the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will be able continue under a bipartisan plan recently approved by the Illinois Senate and signed into law by the governor.

“Rural communities downstate depend heavily on Illinois’ infrastructure,” said State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill). “This plan gives us the opportunity to continue improving our roads and transportation networks, and keeps our economy moving by retaining these jobs in our community.”

Senate Bill 2047 provides state funding for construction projects scheduled to continue into next year, and also keeps future projects on track through 2022.

Read more: Manar votes to fund road construction, transportation projects

Wilsonville edit for webWILSONVILLE- State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) on Thursday visited the Wilsonville Community Center to take part in their summer food program for impoverished children. The program is one of many that the Illinois Coalition for Community Services (ICCS) maintains.

“It’s unconscionable to think that the governor would find a program as valuable as this to be expendable,” Manar said. “All of the programs offered by ICCS offer working families that extra help they need to make ends meet.”

In Macoupin County, ICCS serves close to 1,000 residents through community outreach programs such as a mobile health clinic and a summer meal program for children in poverty.

Last year, these programs and many others were targeted by the Rauner administration for cuts in state aid. In response, Manar invited representative from ICCS to testify at a Senate committee to detail how the cuts would impact their operations. They explained that the loss of funding would result in massive layoffs, and cancellation of the summer food program.

In the days following this hearing, ICCS, Senator Manar and other legislators fought to restore funding for community services in Illinois. Their funding was restored in May of 2015, which allowed for the vital summer food program to continue.

Read more: Manar visits Wilsonville Community Center amid another funding struggle

 

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