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SPRINGFIELD – The Rauner administration’s strict 45-hour cap on home care overtime for personal assistants to disabled Illinoisans is too severe and deserves review, State Senator Andy Manar said Monday, flanked by two constituents who are struggling because of the policy.

“We’re seeing quality-of-life and quality-of-care suffer as a result of the governor’s restrictions,” Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said. “Gov. Rauner should remember that some cuts may look good on a balance sheet, but they have life-threatening consequences when put into practice.”

Manar sponsored legislation (HB 3376) in 2017 to extend the overtime cap to 55 hours in an effort to compromise between disability advocates and the administration. Gov. Rauner vetoed the measure.

Manar said he intends to introduce legislation again to address the matter, with input from those who are most affected.

“This policy deserves another look, and lawmakers deserve to hear from constituents who must live with the decisions that are made here in Springfield,” he said.

Joining Manar were DHS Home Service Program consumer David Spurney and his caregiver, Tami Straub, both Staunton residents who are struggling because of the overtime cap.

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Category: Latest News


SPRINGFIELD – The date for evening office hours hosted by State Senator Andy Manar and Springfield’s Ward 3 Ald. Doris Turner has been changed to Monday, Oct. 15.

Manar and Turner will be available to speak with residents about issues and concerns between 5 and 6:30 p.m. at the City of Springfield’s Office of Community Relations, 1450 Groth St.

The event originally was scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 10 at the same location.

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 Springfield office at 217-782-0228.

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

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COFFEEN – State Senator Andy Manar toured the Coffeen power station Friday to reaffirm his commitment to the plant’s operations, its role in the energy market and the workers it employs.

Participating in the tour and discussion were: Manar; plant manager John Cooley; production manager Kevin Ziegler; maintenance manager Scott Bell; administration manager Joyce Lipe; safety specialist Joe Luckett; Jeff Ferry government affairs director for Vistra Energy, which operates the Coffeen plant; Jerad Volkmar, business manager for Laborers’ Local 1084; and Luke Lyerla, union steward for the Operating Engineers Local 148.

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Manar (D-Bunker Hill) reiterated that he is ready to take whatever steps necessary to work with Vistra Energy to keep the plant part of its fleet of production facilities across multiple states.

“Not only is the Coffeen Power Station critical to energy production in Illinois, it is a major employer in this part of the state and a vital piece of the local economy,” he said.

Volkmar, whose grandfather and father also worked at the Coffeen plant, said the power station provides the kind of well-paying jobs that are needed to support families, local schools and smaller, locally owned businesses.

“Since the coal mines closed down, Montgomery County doesn’t have as many of the kinds of job opportunities it takes to attract families to the area,” he said. “The Coffeen power station keeps families here and pumps money into the local economy. Without it, the county and our schools would be devastated.”

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Manar, whose Senate district includes the Coffeen plant, voted against the so-called “Exelon bill” in 2016, which prioritized Chicago-area energy jobs over downstate energy jobs.

He also has decried the lack of downstate representation on the Illinois Commerce Commission, the powerful board that approves utility rates and monitors railroad crossing safety. He filed Senate Bill 3626, which require geographic balance on the five-member panel. Manar was the only member of the Senate to vote against the governor’s latest appointment to the commerce commission. Since taking office in 2015, Gov. Bruce Rauner has appointed five members to the commission; none live outside of Cook and DuPage counties. It’s the first time in a century that no downstate member sits on the ICC.

Manar said the spring legislative session will be a critical time for potential legislation related to energy production in Illinois.

“I will continue to have an open line of communication to Vistra, and I will continue to fight to protect jobs in Montgomery County,” he said.

Category: Latest News


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

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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