04102019CW0149SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) commended Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s decision this week to join a 44-state coalition suing the some of the nation’s largest drug manufacturers for artificially inflating prices for lifesaving medications.

“Pharmaceutical companies have been expanding their profit margins and reducing competition for years at the expense of men and women who need their products to survive,” Manar said. “I’m glad to see that Attorney General Raoul recognizes the dire consequences these artificially high prices can have on Illinoisans and that he’s committing our state to standing up to the prescription drug industry.”

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, names 20 pharmaceutical companies and 15 executives who are responsible for manipulating prices and limiting the availability of prescription medications.

The complaint alleges that the drug manufacturers conspired to fix prices for name-brand medications and restrain trade for more than 100 generic drugs. In some cases, coordinated price increases were over 1,000 percent.

“In my district, I’ve seen firsthand the serious financial implications these price increases can have on working families – particularly in rural communities where consumers have limited access to pharmacies,” Manar said. “Now is the time to take these bad actors to task and this lawsuit is a good step toward doing so.”

Category: Latest News

05092019 Manar

SPRINGFIELD – Improvements to the Illinois State Police Department’s Joliet crime lab and increasing contracting opportunities for minorities were the focus as lawmakers met Thursday in Springfield to hear about the state’s infrastructure improvement needs.

Members of the Joint Subcommittees on Capital, led by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago), heard testimony from the Illinois State Police and members of local government about local infrastructure projects that need to be funded and potential revenue sources to pay for them.

“The depth and breadth of the state’s infrastructure needs is mind boggling. The takeaway from these Senate hearings is simple: There is tremendous need throughout Illinois for highway construction, bridge repairs, college and university building projects, environmental investments and more,” Manar said.

“Our challenge now is finding a way to pay for them. I’m eager to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find a way to make these long-overdue investments in our infrastructure and make a plan for doing so on a more regular basis.”

Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly recommended directing funding to improving to the department’s Joliet crime lab, which he said is in dire need investment to bring it up to current forensic science standards.

“The needs are getting to the point where it’s a desperate situation,” Kelly said. “There are people there that do hard work every day that are going to decide the fate of people who have been charged with a crime or that are going to decide whether a victim gets justice.”

The Springfield hearing was the eighth and final installment of the subcommittees’ tour of the state to hear input from interested groups about infrastructure improvement needs. Lawmakers will now consider the testimony they heard over the last few months as they develop a plan to fund construction projects in Illinois.

Category: Latest News

05012019 Manar Vert Const

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar on Wednesday joined a coalition of labor, higher education and health care advocates in calling for vertical construction projects to be included in a comprehensive statewide infrastructure plan.

“Illinois needs cranes on campuses and bulldozers at building sites. Construction projects signal that Illinois is open for business,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat who is leading conversations in the Senate about statewide construction priorities.

“Highway and bridge repairs are vitally important, but any statewide infrastructure plan has to balance those priorities with our need for new schools, modern hospitals and 21st century college facilities. There has to be a healthy mix.”

The newly formed Build Up Illinois coalition comprises groups and associations representing K-12 school districts, community colleges, universities, the Illinois hospital system, the Illinois AFL-CIO and affiliated building trades.

“Capital projects put thousands of people to work in every corner of our state while making much needed investments to our aging infrastructure,” said Michael Carrigan, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO. “The 900,000 union members across the state are willing partners in support of a capital plan that addresses needed repairs and upgrades as well as new construction. The coalition is ready to support both lawmakers and the administration in moving a comprehensive plan forward.”

Illinois faces billions of dollars in repairs and new construction requests for schools, public universities, sewer and water systems, roads, bridges and state facilities that occupy more than 8,700 buildings and 101 million square feet of floor space. They serve diverse needs, including prisons, universities, mental health hospitals and state parks.

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Category: Latest News

04292019 ManarSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar on Thursday challenged the state agency responsible for economic development to focus more of its attention on rural and downstate Illinois communities.

Manar (D-Bunker Hill) noted that there currently are 1,100 vacant jobs in Decatur and not enough workers to fill them. Most of the jobs pay well and come with benefits, he added. He said these kinds of challenges in struggling and impoverished regions of the state deserve more attention.

His remarks were made during an appropriations hearing with the Department of Commerce and Economic Development.

“I think a major challenge for the agency is how it injects itself into rural parts of the state that have seen poverty literally explode over the last decade,” Manar said. “I think it’s a fair criticism of the agency that, under multiple administrations, the rural areas of the state where the challenges are different and more difficult have just kind of been marginalized.”

Manar said a key to job creation and business support downstate is to have economic development experts on the ground in those locations who understand the challenges and are available to help solve them.

“We can’t do foreign trade relationships really well and not do downstate economic development really well and then say we’re successful,” Manar said. “We have to do both equally well to be truly successful.”

Category: Latest News

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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