IMG 1426CARLINVILLE – One of the most historically significant sites in Illinois and seat of Macoupin County government, the Macoupin County Courthouse, is set to receive a $1 million investment for its restoration under the recently passed capital infrastructure plan.

As the only Democratic budget negotiator from downstate, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) advocated for this and other important downstate projects while negotiating this year’s balanced budget and capital plan.

"Macoupin County is my home. I love this place beyond words, and I will always go to bat for the people of Macoupin County. This is just one important piece of a bipartisan balanced budget, and it is important to me that downstate Illinois sees its fair share of investment,” Manar said. “It is my hope that with this investment, along with the leadership of Sheriff Kahl and the County Board, our courthouse will get the repairs needed to preserve our unique history while keeping it operational for generations to come."

Manar also has personal ties to the courthouse, as he served as chairman of the Macoupin County Board from 2003 to 2012.

“This additional funding will be a major boost for one of our county’s most treasured historic sites,” said Macoupin County Sheriff Shawn Kahl, who worked with Manar to secure the funding. “We have one of the oldest and most beautiful

courthouses in the entire state, and I’m glad to see that the state is committed to preserving a major part of Macoupin County history.”
The Macoupin County Courthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been named one of Illinois’ great places by the American Institute of Architects. Years of delayed maintenance on the building, however, have left it in need of repairs.

“The nearly 150-year-old Macoupin County Courthouse is among the most remarkable National Register-listed buildings in the state of Illinois,” said Bonnie McDonald, Landmarks Illinois President & CEO. “Its story is like no other, and its unparalleled architectural, historic and community significance led Landmarks Illinois to make one of our largest grants in 2011 to help the County restore the north stairwell. The State of Illinois and champion Senator Andy Manar are to be commended for investing in the courthouse’s future and the jobs and tourism dollars that it will provide, benefiting the people of Macoupin County.”

The dollar amount of the investment is a nod to the courthouse’s original construction cost in 1870, garnering it the nickname, “Million Dollar Courthouse.”

Category: Latest News

12072018CM0250TAYLORVILLE – The City of Taylorville will receive $500,000 from the state to help cover the costs incurred from the December tornado of last year.

State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) got the funding included in the budget in order to help the community rebuild after the disaster.

“I made a promise to Mayor Barry and the people of Taylorville back in December after spending several days with him and first responders following the aftermath of the tornado that the state would do its part,” Manar said. “Today I am delivering on the promise.”

On December 1, 2018, an EF3 tornado tore through the town located in the geographic center of Christian County. According to the Christian County Emergency Management Agency, more than 500 buildings were damaged, with 34 being destroyed and 66 receiving major damage. 26 people were injured, none fatally.

Category: Latest News

04102019CW0176

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar has introduced legislation that would protect Illinoisans from the skyrocketing price of insulin by capping the amount patients would need to pay for the life-saving medication.

“In the last 20 years or so we’ve seen the price of insulin rise to outlandish levels,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat. “We have a responsibility as lawmakers to help get these prices under control and make this life-saving medication more available to those who need it.”

Senate Bill 667 would cap co-payments for insulin at $100 per month for all patients regardless of the supply they require.

The price of insulin has increased exponentially in the U.S. in the past several years. According to a 2016 study, the price of the drug tripled between 2002 and 2013. 

If passed, the measure would make Illinois the second state in the country to cap insulin payments.

Nearly 7.5 million Americans with diabetes rely on insulin to manage their blood sugar levels. Price increases have left many of them struggling to pay for the drug and at risk of deadly consequences. Some people are forced to ration the medication until they can afford the next prescription or forego it altogether.

“This isn’t just a financial issue, these price increases are putting peoples’ lives at stake,” Manar said. “We need immediate action on this issue and that’s what this bill represents.”

Category: Latest News

05282019CM0186SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) passed legislation Wednesday aimed at eliminating the teacher shortage in Illinois by increasing the minimum salary for teachers.

“Illinois schools are having an increasingly difficult time attracting and retaining qualified teachers and a big part of that is the fact that we aren’t paying them enough,” Manar said. “This legislation shows the high value we place on teachers and the commitment we have to keeping them in Illinois.”

House Bill 2078 would increase the minimum salary for teachers to $40,000 over a four year period.

Illinois had not updated its minimum teacher salary since 1980. Since that time, state statute has mandated that that Illinois school districts pay teachers with a bachelor’s degree a minimum of only $10,000.

Manar passed identical legislation last year that was supported by lawmakers from both parties before being vetoed by then-Gov. Bruce Rauner.

“This change is long overdue and has support from both sides of the aisle,” Manar said. “Increasing teachers’ salaries is one of the most effective tools we have at our disposal to keep qualified individuals in our schools and it’s time we take advantage of it.”

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;

The measure passed the Senate with bipartisan support. Manar also passed identical legislation, Senate Bill 10, earlier this spring.

Category: Latest News

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