SPRINGFIELD – A new program designed to help sustain rural, independent pharmacies appears to be stalled by the governor’s administration, and three state lawmakers want to know why.

In a letter to Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Patricia Bellock dated Sept. 10, State Senators Andy Manar and Heather Steans and State Representative Greg Harris requested a timeline for implementing the critical access pharmacy program.

“Independent pharmacies all over Illinois are being forced out of business because of state policies and unfair competition,” said State Senator Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat who has called for more transparency in the relationship among pharmacy benefit managers, managed care organizations and the state of Illinois. He helped ensure money for the critical access pharmacy program was included in the FY19 state budget.

“Rural residents in particular are being put at a disadvantage,” he continued. “Not only are independent pharmacies a local health care resource in rural and remote locations, they’re also employers that are now being stamped out with the use of state tax dollars. I don’t know anyone who wants their tax money used in that way.”

Money for the program – $10 million – was included in the bipartisan FY19 state budget, which Gov. Bruce Rauner signed in early June. The money is for payments to independent pharmacies that are struggling because of the state’s Medicaid managed care rollout and pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs.

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Category: Latest News

BUNKER HILL – State Senator Andy Manar will host evening office hours in Brighton and Livingston on Wednesday, Sept. 26 to allow residents a convenient opportunity to seek help with matters related to state government.

The times and locations are:

  • Brighton City Hall, 206 S. Main St., from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
  • Livingston Senior Center, 601 Livingston Ave., from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Constituents will be able to ask questions and seek assistance with issues involving state agencies or programs. Walk-in visits are welcome. Appointments are encouraged but not required. To schedule a time, call Senator Manar’s Bunker Hill office at 618-585-4848.

Constituents who are unable to make it to these office hours but need assistance with a matter may call or visit Senator Manar’s district offices any time throughout the year to speak with a staff member. The locations and phone numbers are:

  • Bunker Hill office, 115 N. Washington St. – 618-585-4848
  • Springfield office, 119A Capitol Building – 217-782-0228
  • Decatur office, Macon County Office Building, 141 S. Main St., Suite 502 – 217-429-8110
Category: Latest News

Manar SeniorFair Benld650

BENLD – Benld-area residents are invited to join State Senator Andy Manar for a senior resource fair Wednesday, Sept. 19.

The event will take place between 10 a.m. and noon at the Benld Civic Center, 201 E. Center Ave. It is free and open to the public.

The event will feature on-site driver’s license renewals, information about how to save money on utility bills and more. Seniors will be able to ask questions and obtain information from a variety of service and health care providers, state programs and local groups. They also can take advantage of free and discounted health screenings.

More information about available services:

  • Driver’s license and state ID renewals at the Illinois Secretary of State’s mobile unit
  • Health screenings and information presented by the Macoupin County Public Health Department and local hospitals. Most screenings will be free of charge, but some may require a nominal fee.
  • Updated information for veterans from the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Macoupin County Veterans Assistance Commission
  • Updated information for seniors from the Illinois Secretary of State
  • Details about lowering utility bills from the Citizens Utility Board
  • Information about unclaimed property held by the Illinois treasurer
  • Information from the Illinois Housing Development Authority
  • Additional representatives available from Illinois Valley Economic Development Corp., Macoupin County Public Transit and others
  • Staff from Senator Manar’s office will be available to answer questions about Medicaid, state government operations and more.

For more information, call 217-782-0228 or 618-585-4848 or visit

Category: Latest News

LibraryShelvesDECATUR – The Decatur Public Library is the recipient of a $14,600 mentoring grant from the Illinois secretary of state, State Senator Andy Manar announced.

The grant was awarded through the 2019 Project Next Generation program, which is a mentoring program administered through Illinois public libraries. Mentors work with middle and high school students to help them develop skills needed to use technology and find success through project-based learning. Mentors also help with developing life skills, such as effective communication, goal setting and conflict resolution.

Decatur is one of 31 public libraries in the state to receive the grant.

“I appreciate the secretary of state’s continued support for public libraries and underserved youth in Illinois,” Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said. “Because of this grant, at-risk children in Decatur will get a leg up. They will be able to improve their grades, build their confidence and develop the kinds of skills that will help them now and later when they go on to college or enter the job market.”

In all, the secretary of state awarded more than $526,000 in Project Next Generation grants statewide. The money is provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Grants are awarded to public libraries that serve culturally diverse, low-income and underserved populations.

“I am committed to improving the lives of at-risk youth in Illinois,” said Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. “I established this innovative program when I first became secretary of state to give students an opportunity to receive hands-on experience with the latest technological tools at their local library.”

For more information, visit

Category: Latest News

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