ServiceDogSPRINGFIELD – Illinois military veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or depression will be eligible for service dogs through a special program under legislation sponsored by Senator Andy Manar that was signed into law Friday.

“Service dogs often can offer companionship, stress-relief and motivation to veterans with PTSD or depression that friends and family may not be able to provide,” Manar said. “I am pleased that these veterans now are on the list of people in Illinois who can take advantage of the Helping Paws Service Dog Program and lead more fulfilling lives.”

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 2897 into law Friday. The legislation was sponsored in the House by Republican State Rep. Dave Severin of Benton. The measure expands the list of eligible recipients of service dogs through the Helping Paws program to include veterans with PTSD or depression.

The Illinois Department of Corrections operates the Helping Paws Service Dog Program out of the Logan Correctional Center women’s prison. Offenders train dogs that go on to assist people who are visually impaired, use wheelchairs or have a variety of other disabilities. Dogs are provided at no charge.

Illinois has had the program for 17 years, and offenders have trained more than 300 dogs in that time. The program partners with Mid America Service Dogs Foundation and Paws Giving Independence.

Gov. Rauner said it is important to ensure that veterans have access to services that improve their quality of life and that the Helping Paws program will help provide the comfort and relief that they deserve.

Severin said he expects the new law will positively affect the lives of veterans who are struggling the most.

Category: Latest News

Manar08132017SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Bruce Rauner today passed on signing a commonsense law that would save taxpayers millions of dollars in late payment fees because he believes it’s an attempt to “micromanage” state agencies.

It’s another example of how the governor sends mixed messages to the people of Illinois, said Senator Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat and the sponsor of House Bill 3649, the proposed Debt Transparency Act, which Rauner vetoed.

“One day Gov. Rauner rails about waste, fraud and abuse in Springfield. The next day, given an opportunity to do something about it, he punts,” Manar said. “It’s maddening.

“Illinois taxpayers shell out $2 million a day in late payment fees and interest because of the state’s bill backlog. This law simply would ask state agencies to help the comptroller manage that debt better by reporting every month on the bills they owe to vendors.”

Illinois’ bill backlog today stands at $14.7 billion. Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza was a driving force behind the legislation.

In addition to micromanagement, Rauner’s reasons for vetoing the legislation included that it’s “time-consuming” and too burdensome because of “asymmetries in technology and variances in the input and calculation of the required information.”

Manar said transparency and accountability aren’t rocket science.

“The only asymmetry we’re dealing with is the amount of complaining versus the amount of action coming out of the governor’s office,” he added.

Rauner vetoed additional Manar-sponsored legislation on Friday, including:

Category: Latest News

PANA – Pana-area senior citizens can learn how to protect themselves and their bank accounts from scam artists and fraudulent businesses during a special workshop this month.

A consumer fraud seminar for senior citizens will take place at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 28 at the Pana American Legion, 405 E. First St., Pana. The event is free and tailored to senior citizens, who frequently are targeted by unscrupulous telemarketers, online scams and door-to-door salespeople.

Workshop guests will learn:

  • how to protect themselves, family members and friends from a variety of deceptive practices and common scams that prey upon senior citizens and the elderly;
  • how to avoid identity theft;
  • how to check their credit report;
  • how to file a consumer fraud complaint; and more.

The event is sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), Pana Mayor Don Kroski and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

For more information, call Manar’s district office at 618-585-4848.

What: Consumer fraud workshop for senior citizens
When: 10:30 a.m. until noon Monday, Aug. 28
Where: Pana American Legion, 405 E. First St.

Category: Latest News

Manar07042017SPRINGFIELD — Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement in response to Gov. Rauner’s media event in central Illinois today:

“Gov. Rauner should be building bridges with lawmakers so that he can become the governor who finally signs education funding reform into law. But instead of seizing the chance to cement his legacy as a reformer, he’s making demands in front of TV cameras.

“Gov. Rauner promised to overhaul the worst school funding formula in the country to the benefit of all Illinois schoolchildren. He promised to be the education governor. Unfortunately, he is more interested in spouting divisive soundbites than in solving the real problems that grip Illinois.

“Given his repeated pledges to veto this historic and vitally important legislation – despite his reported support of 90 percent of what’s in the bill – of course we are doing everything we can to protect it from his poor judgement.

“Gov. Rauner has never contacted me directly regarding his alleged problems with Senate Bill 1. It is clear to me today that he intends to use the children of Illinois as leverage for his political agenda when he could be working out a compromise to accomplish a much-needed and long-awaited reform. I am saddened and discouraged by his display today.”

Category: Latest News

School Funding Reform


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Springfield Office:
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