001010813br0213edCrSPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate on Thursday rejected House Speaker Mike Madigan’s (D–Democrat) pension reform proposal.

“Senate Bill 1 saves nothing,” Manar said. “It saves nothing because it is unconstitutional. We are all well aware that something has to be done to fix our state’s massively underfunded pension systems but this is not a solution. This is a breach of contract and a broken promise, a promise we made to our teachers, firefighters, police and corrections officers that when they retire, they would have a pension. And now we have lawmakers who are willing to go back on that promise. These are our neighbors and our friends. They are not just numbers on a page and we need to stop treating them like they are.”

“I’ve said for a year that a reasonable solution has to be negotiated with union leaders,” Manar said. “The Senate passed a measure that has the backing from state employee unions and most importantly, is constitutionally sound. Passing a measure that is likely to be thrown out by the courts just isn’t responsible. It won’t save any money, and we will see another year of major cuts to vital state services.”

Category: Latest News

ManarfloorrSPRINGFIELD – Illinois is changing its approach to economic development to better focus on creating and retaining jobs, tackling pockets of stagnant unemployment, and recruiting new businesses to relocate to and expand within the state, thanks to a comprehensive reform package sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar (D–Bunker Hill).

After months of negotiations and gathering input from business and community leaders from across the state through several Senate hearings, the Illinois Senate today passed Manar’s House Bill 1544, which requires the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity—the lead state agency responsible for economic development in the state—to develop a comprehensive, statewide economic development plan.

“When it comes to creating jobs and encouraging economic development, Illinois can and must do better,” Manar said. “We can start by reforming our current approach to require a strategic statewide plan. Having a plan will help focus state resources on where they are needed most, maximizing job creation and impact on our economy.”

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Category: Latest News

Manar Senate FloorrLast week, the State Senate made huge progress towards fixing the single largest problem facing our state: our dangerously underfunded state pension systems.

With our nearly $100 billion pension shortfall increasingly choking off funding for other core state services like public education funding, it was imperative that we address the problem.

At the same time, the Illinois Constitution specifically protects pension benefits, and I don’t believe it’s fair for the state to break its promise to the thousands of hard-working state employees who already paid their portion.

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Category: Latest News

Members of Illinois General Assembly revive Historic Preservation Caucus to protect state’s heritage

SPRINGFIELD – More than 60 members of the Illinois General Assembly have joined forces to revive the Historic Preservation Caucus, a bipartisan group dedicated to protecting the state’s historic sites, buildings and artifacts.

The caucus will promote legislation and budgets that ensure the taxpayers of Illinois get the most from their state’s unique heritage. Leading the caucus, which last met in 2010, are Sen. Pamela Althoff, R-McHenry, Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, Rep. Rich Brauer, R-Springfield, and Rep. Jerry Costello II, D-Smithton.

“Our history in Illinois is rich, and our sites and structures should be preserved and appreciated,” Althoff said. “The kind of economic development that stems from our historical sites and structures is valuable. The caucus recognizes and will work to promote that.”

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Category: Latest News

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