The following letter by Senator Andy Manar was published Sunday, Feb. 11 in The (Springfield) State Journal-Register.

On Wednesday, Gov. Bruce Rauner will present to the General Assembly his plan for dealing with a $9 billion state budget deficit.

This is not a figure I’ve pulled out of thin air. The governor’s budget director, Hans Zigmund, on Feb. 7 confirmed to members of the Senate that there is a $9 billion shortfall in the budget. A significant portion of that is the state’s $8.3 billion in unpaid bills, including $1.1 billion in what he termed “unappropriated liabilities” — money the governor’s administration spent on its own without authorization from lawmakers.

Gov. Rauner has said he intends to finally propose a balanced budget to the General Assembly during his Valentine’s Day budget address — one that includes rolling back the bipartisan tax increase that was passed last summer to get the state out of the crisis it had been operating under for two years. He also pledged to fully fund Illinois’ public schools under the new formula that lawmakers of both parties approved.

It doesn’t take a math whiz to see there’s a problem with the governor’s rhetoric. How will he balance the budget, plug a $9 billion deficit and at the same time scale back revenue? Spending cuts will only take him so far.

I look forward to hearing Wednesday how Gov. Rauner plans to do all of this. He has an opportunity to hit the reset button. Illinois desperately needs him to start things off on the right foot this year.

State Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill

Chairman of the Illinois Senate Appropriations II committee

Category: Latest News

ManarCrossing11292017SPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar today congratulated Decatur’s Crossing Healthcare on receiving a $3 million donation to help pay for a new facility that opened in 2015 despite Gov. Bruce Rauner doing everything in his power to block promised state funding.

“Thank you to Howard Buffett for stepping in to help alleviate some of the unnecessary financial burden that Crossing was forced to endure. Mr. Buffett's generosity continues to change Decatur for the better, and he should be commended for all he has done,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat who represents much of Decatur, including Crossing Healthcare.

“Gov. Rauner appears to have conveniently forgotten the role he played in Crossing’s misfortune. I’ll help him remember.

“He froze its funding immediately upon taking office in 2015, blocked negotiations on last year’s ‘grand bargain’ and repeatedly vetoed state budgets that would have provided the money the center was due and desperately needed – money that was sitting idly in a state bank account.”

Crossing Healthcare was among the 14 federally qualified health centers and hospitals in Senate District 48 that Manar visited in November to learn more about the challenges and needs facing health care providers in central Illinois.

The continued delay in capital construction dollars from the state for the 2015 facility and the financial difficulty it created for Crossing, which served more than 19,000 patients in 2016, were significant concerns that were discussed during the senator’s visit.

“It takes a lot of nerve to do what the governor did today – and by ‘nerve’ I don’t mean bravery,” Manar said. “Gov. Rauner seems to not understand the connection between his actions as governor, being in charge of the state of Illinois, and press conferences like the one in Decatur today.”

Category: Latest News

Speech was light on specifics, laden with platitudes

ManarSOTS01312018SPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) released the following statement reacting to the governor’s fourth State of the State address to the General Assembly today:

“I heard a disappointing speech that was light on specifics and played more toward politics than problem-solving. Gov. Rauner offered no plan for job creation in parts of the state that have not benefitted from jobs recently even though the general economy is improving.

“As for his call that we all roll up our sleeves and work together, I see no evidence that he understands what ‘bipartisan’ actually means and what it takes to set that in motion. It takes more than words to achieve bipartisan cooperation. It requires trust building, one-on-one conversations and spending enormous amounts of time building relationships.

“We’re three years into this governor’s term, and he hasn’t done one of those things with lawmakers in all that time. To set those things in motion in his fourth years is going to be an enormous challenge. I wish him luck, because that’s what it will take to begin solving problems. But this speech did nothing toward that effort.”

Category: Latest News

Manar supported bipartisan measure slashing startup, filing fees

SmallBiz 350BUNKER HILL – Small and mid-sized businesses that are responsible for most of the payroll and job creation in rural Illinois will pay less in startup, annual filing and other fees this year because of a new law on the books.

The law rolls back the filing fee for small businesses to register in Illinois, reduces numerous filing fees for limited liability companies and levels the playing field between small businesses and corporations when it comes to these types of regulatory expenses.

Most of Illinois’ 1.2 million small businesses are organized as LLCs.

“Cutting fees to encourage economic growth and offer some relief to small business owners is a long-overdue move by the legislature,” said Senator Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat who voted for the bipartisan measure.

“I expect this will be a tremendous help, especially in areas like Macoupin, Montgomery and Christian counties where it can be tough to get a new business off the ground. Business owners no longer will have the added worry of paying excessive fees to the state each year.”

The fee decreases are substantial:

  • The filing fee for new LLCs dropped to $150 from $500.
  • Annual filing fees for LLCs decreased to $75 from $250.
  • Reinstatement fee dropped to $200 from $500.
  • The reserved name application fee is now $25; it was $300 previously.
  • The name transfer fee dropped to $25 from $100.
  • The amendments fee is now $50; it had been $150.

The fees went into effect Dec. 20.

Category: Latest News

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Springfield Office:
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Springfield, IL 62706
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