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SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Andy Manar toured the Mission of Mercy dental clinic Friday in Springfield, where hundreds of adults and children with limited financial resources and other barriers to routine dental care were able to receive free treatment.

More than 1,000 volunteer dentists, hygienists, dental assistants, dental students and other volunteers from all over Illinois set up a two-day large-scale dental clinic at the Bank of Springfield Center in downtown Springfield. They provided free basic dental services, including cleanings, fillings, extractions and partial dentures to patients who began lining up outside the building overnight Thursday so they could be treated as soon as the doors opened at 6 a.m.

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Friday was the first day of the clinic, which will continue Saturday. As of noon Friday, dental professionals already had treated about 500 patients. During the course of the two-day clinic, they expect to treat 2,000 patients and offer about $1 million in free dental care. Patients are not required to pre-register or make appointments. Treatment is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

One-hundred portable dental chairs, equipment, lights and units were set up to treat patients. Separate areas with more privacy were set up for extractions and anesthesia. There also were separate areas for cleanings and lab work.
This is the fifth year for the event, which takes place at locations around the state every two years. It is organized by the Illinois State Dental Society Foundation.

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During a tour of hospitals and federal qualified health clinics in the 48th Senate District last fall, Senator Manar repeatedly heard from health care providers that access to dental care is a significant problem in rural parts of the state, where it can be difficult to find a dentist who accepts Medicaid and where those who do have lengthy waiting lists.

Illinois has some of the lowest Medicaid reimbursement rates in the nation.

For more information about the Mission of Mercy, visit its website and its Facebook page.

Category: Latest News

Governor broke 100-year precedent by failing to ensure downstate representation on panel

0517ManarSPRINGFIELD – Appointments to the Illinois Commerce Commission – the panel that approves electric rates and monitors railroad crossing safety – would be geographically balanced to ensure the interests of rural and downstate taxpayers are represented under a measure introduced today by State Senator Andy Manar.

Senate Bill 3626 requires that at least two commissioners on the five-member panel live outside of Chicago and the collar counties. Of the remaining three members, one would be appointed from Chicago, one from the suburbs and one would be an at-large member who could live anywhere in the state.

“The consumers I represent in the Senate work hard and want to know someone will represent their interests when the state approves electric rates or fails to address problems with rural cell phone coverage. The families in my district want to trust their teenagers will be safe driving home at night because someone on the ICC board understands the dangers of rural rail crossings where the corn is high,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat.

“But right now, the 4.5 million Illinoisans who live outside of Chicago and the collar counties have no one representing their interests on this commission.”

For the first time in a century, no downstate member sits on the Illinois Commerce Commission, the powerful five-member state panel that regulates utilities, approves utility rates, licenses trucking and towing companies and oversees railroad safety and crossing improvements.

Since taking office in 2015, Gov. Bruce Rauner has appointed five members to the commission; none live outside of Cook and DuPage counties.

In May, Manar, who is vice chairman of the Senate Executive Appointments Committee, was the only committee member to vote no on two of Rauner’s pending appointments to the commission: D. Ethan Kimbrel and Anastasia Palivos. Kimbrel’s recommendation was forwarded to the full Senate for approval, and Manar was the only senator to vote no. The appointment was approved 45-1. Palivos’ recommendation did not go to the full Senate for a vote in May.

Senate Bill 3626 does not change the existing requirement that no more than three commissioners can be of the same political party at the time of appointment. Commission terms are five years.

Category: Latest News

LITCHFIELD – Tax increment financing districts are a key to job creation and a robust economy in many downstate communities, including Litchfield, State Senator Andy Manar said Tuesday after his measure extending the life of the Litchfield TIF was signed into law.

“Aggressive economic development has enabled Litchfield to add jobs and flourish as a community. The TIF district has been a significant factor in that growth,” Manar said. “It’s important that we take steps to extend the life of the TIF so that community leaders can continue building upon the success they’ve already had.”

Senate Bill 424, which Manar sponsored, the life of the Litchfield TIF district to 35 years from 23 years. It was created June 2, 1998, and had been set to expire at the end of 2021. Under the law sponsored by Manar, the TIF will not expire until the end of 2033.

The extension gives local officials more time to develop vacant land or eradicate blight to attract new employers and additional jobs to the city.

Manar complimented the city of Litchfield for its continued leadership on economic development.

“The number of positive economic development projects happening in Litchfield is mind-blowing. The residents here should be proud of what they and their city leaders have accomplished,” Manar said.

Category: Latest News

firefighters350BUNKER HILL – Seven area rural fire protection and ambulance districts have been awarded small equipment grants through the Office of the State Fire Marshal. State Senator Andy Manar extended congratulations to the recipients.

Grant recipients are:

  • Morrisonville-Palmer Fire Protection District in Christian County
  • Fillmore Community Fire Protection District in Montgomery County
  • Nokomis Area Fire Protection District in Montgomery County
  • Nokomis-Witt Ara Ambulance Service in Montgomery County
  • Taylor Springs Fire Department in Montgomery County
  • Raymond Community Fire Protection District in Montgomery County
  • Long Creek Fire Protection District in Macon County

Statewide, 100 fire departments have been awarded a share of $2 million funds for the FY2018 Small Equipment Grant Program, which provides grants of up to $26,000 to purchase small equipment.

Examples of small equipment include firefighting items, such as cylinder tanks, flashlights, hand-held radios and thermal imaging cameras; EMS emergency response equipment, such as AED machines, backboards and stair chairs; and vehicle rescue equipment, such as extrication tools, reciprocating saw blades and air lifting bags.

The state fire marshal’s office plans to put out a more detailed news release next week.

Category: Latest News

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Springfield Office:
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