02202019 Manar WAND 650

Some of Pritzker’s ideas pose a challenge but deserve fair hearing

SPRINGFIELD – The governor’s blueprint for a state budget appears to make good on promises he made to the people of Illinois and also reflects the severity of state’s financial situation, State Senator Andy Manar said today following the governor’s budget address.

“Gov. Pritzker presented an honest assessment of our fiscal challenges. The good news: he wants to put more money toward schools and career and technical education in central Illinois. That’s fantastic. Investment in education is an investment in the economy and in long-term stability,” Manar said. “But his revenue proposals are going to present challenges, and they should be given a fair hearing in the Senate.”

Manar is chairman of the Senate’s Appropriations II Committee, a panel that helps set priorities for the state. Senate committees will get to work sifting through the details of the governor’s proposals during a series of public meetings and hearings.

“I give the governor credit for being aggressive and creative in addressing Illinois’ budget problems. It’s refreshing to have a leader who is not trying to balance the budget on the backs of workers and retired teachers,” Manar said.

 

 

Category: Latest News

02052019 Manar Ed Committee SB10 650

SPRINGFIELD – An effort to update Illinois’ minimum mandated salary for teachers – one that could attract more young people to the profession by sending a message that their work is valued – was approved by an Illinois Senate committee Tuesday.

Illinois has not updated its minimum mandated salary for teachers since 1980. For 38 years, state statute has required Illinois school districts to pay teachers with a bachelor’s degree a minimum salary of $10,000 ($9,000 for those without a bachelor’s degree). Based on decades of inflation, the minimum mandated salary today should be about $32,000.
Senate Bill 10 represents State Senator Andy Manar’s second attempt to see a living minimum wage for teachers signed into law. Last year the proposal won support from lawmakers of both parties before being vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

“This is where the rubber meets the road. Do we want to attract talented young teachers to Illinois, or do we want to watch them put down professional roots in other states?” Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said. “A $10,000 minimum wage set in statute absolutely sends the wrong message about the value we place on the teaching profession in Illinois.”

 

 

Under the measure, the state would update the minimum mandated salary for teachers annually over four years, beginning with the 2020-2021 school year. After that, subject to review by the General Assembly, it would be increased according to the Consumer Price Index. The phase-in would look like this under the proposal:

  • $32,076 for the 2020-2021 school year;
  • $34,576 for the 2021-2022 school year;
  • $37,076 for the 2022-2023 school year; and
  • $40,000 for the 2023-2024 school year.

“This proposal acknowledges that if we want the best and brightest young people to join the teaching ranks in Illinois, we have to give them some level of guarantee that they’re going to earn a decent wage and be able to support their families,” Manar said. “This update to state law is long, long overdue.”

Pictured: State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) explains his teacher minimum wage bill, Senate Bill 10, in the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019.

Category: Latest News

Whitaker Park 350SPRINGFIELD – Public parks in Bunker Hill and Carlinville, as well as the conservation district in Macon County, were awarded nearly $700,000 in state grants for improvements, State Senator Andy Manar announced today.

The grants are through the state’s Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) program, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Projects in the 48th Senate District that received grants include:

  • Carlinville Park District — $400,000 for renovations to the public pool
  • City of Bunker Hill — $199,400 for improvements at Mae Meissner Whitaker Park
  • Macon County Conservation District — $75,000 for cattail pond improvements at the Rock Springs Conservation Area in Decatur

Whitaker Park was built while Manar was mayor of Bunker Hill with the help of an OSLAD grant. Today’s grant will help complete the park development.

“I am thrilled that these local park projects were found to be worthy of grants from the state of Illinois,” Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said. “The investment these communities are making with the help of the state will pay dividends in public enjoyment and community pride.”

Category: Latest News

SPRINGFIELD – Southern Illinois University could establish a presence in downtown Springfield under a plan introduced in the legislature today by State Senator Andy Manar.

Manar’s plan (Senate Bill 179) would set aside $50 million in state capital funds for a grant to SIU for costs associated with the construction of a campus and public policy center. The site would have to be within 1 mile of the SIU School of Medicine at 801 N. Rutledge St.

“There is enormous potential in the idea of SIU placing a public policy center steps from the Capitol,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat and chairman of a key Senate budget committee. “Coupled with a law school or something associated with the medical school, I think SIU could have a significant and lasting impact on downtown Springfield and the capital city at large.”

In March 2018, SIU officials indicated they were interested in putting a satellite law school campus in either downtown Springfield or in Edwardsville. Local officials have discussed the possibility of a higher education presence downtown, possibly on the long-vacant YWCA block just north of the governor’s mansion. The site would be a perfect location for an SIU campus, Manar said.

He also noted that the timing is right for the legislation with discussions about a potential capital bill under way.

“There should be something substantial for Springfield in the capital bill when it happens,” he said.

Category: Latest News

School Funding Reform

 

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Springfield Office:
119A Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-0228

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