Initiative was advanced by Manar in the Senate

ManarAVRSPRINGFIELD – Illinois this morning became the 10th state to enact automatic voter registration, a good-government and voting-rights initiative advanced by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill).

Manar and numerous advocates were on hand as Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law the measure, which establishes a more modern system by which eligible adults can have their voter registration information updated automatically whenever they interact with certain state agencies.

Manar said automatic voter registration is a big deal for Illinois and an initiative worth celebrating, particularly as other states seem intent to find new ways to limit people’s access to the polls.

“We in Illinois are pushing back on that. While others are trying to close the doors to the ballot box, we are opening those doors,” he said.

“This bill makes absolute sense. It will save government millions of dollars once it’s fully implemented. It will improve the accuracy of our voting rolls. It does all sorts of things we claim we want to do in Springfield. But most of all, it removes barriers for individuals to put their fingerprints on their democracy.”

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Category: Latest News

ServiceDogSPRINGFIELD – Illinois military veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or depression will be eligible for service dogs through a special program under legislation sponsored by Senator Andy Manar that was signed into law Friday.

“Service dogs often can offer companionship, stress-relief and motivation to veterans with PTSD or depression that friends and family may not be able to provide,” Manar said. “I am pleased that these veterans now are on the list of people in Illinois who can take advantage of the Helping Paws Service Dog Program and lead more fulfilling lives.”

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 2897 into law Friday. The legislation was sponsored in the House by Republican State Rep. Dave Severin of Benton. The measure expands the list of eligible recipients of service dogs through the Helping Paws program to include veterans with PTSD or depression.

The Illinois Department of Corrections operates the Helping Paws Service Dog Program out of the Logan Correctional Center women’s prison. Offenders train dogs that go on to assist people who are visually impaired, use wheelchairs or have a variety of other disabilities. Dogs are provided at no charge.

Illinois has had the program for 17 years, and offenders have trained more than 300 dogs in that time. The program partners with Mid America Service Dogs Foundation and Paws Giving Independence.

Gov. Rauner said it is important to ensure that veterans have access to services that improve their quality of life and that the Helping Paws program will help provide the comfort and relief that they deserve.

Severin said he expects the new law will positively affect the lives of veterans who are struggling the most.

Category: Latest News

Manar08132017SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Bruce Rauner today passed on signing a commonsense law that would save taxpayers millions of dollars in late payment fees because he believes it’s an attempt to “micromanage” state agencies.

It’s another example of how the governor sends mixed messages to the people of Illinois, said Senator Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat and the sponsor of House Bill 3649, the proposed Debt Transparency Act, which Rauner vetoed.

“One day Gov. Rauner rails about waste, fraud and abuse in Springfield. The next day, given an opportunity to do something about it, he punts,” Manar said. “It’s maddening.

“Illinois taxpayers shell out $2 million a day in late payment fees and interest because of the state’s bill backlog. This law simply would ask state agencies to help the comptroller manage that debt better by reporting every month on the bills they owe to vendors.”

Illinois’ bill backlog today stands at $14.7 billion. Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza was a driving force behind the legislation.

In addition to micromanagement, Rauner’s reasons for vetoing the legislation included that it’s “time-consuming” and too burdensome because of “asymmetries in technology and variances in the input and calculation of the required information.”

Manar said transparency and accountability aren’t rocket science.

“The only asymmetry we’re dealing with is the amount of complaining versus the amount of action coming out of the governor’s office,” he added.

Rauner vetoed additional Manar-sponsored legislation on Friday, including:

Category: Latest News

PANA – Pana-area senior citizens can learn how to protect themselves and their bank accounts from scam artists and fraudulent businesses during a special workshop this month.

A consumer fraud seminar for senior citizens will take place at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 28 at the Pana American Legion, 405 E. First St., Pana. The event is free and tailored to senior citizens, who frequently are targeted by unscrupulous telemarketers, online scams and door-to-door salespeople.

Workshop guests will learn:

  • how to protect themselves, family members and friends from a variety of deceptive practices and common scams that prey upon senior citizens and the elderly;
  • how to avoid identity theft;
  • how to check their credit report;
  • how to file a consumer fraud complaint; and more.

The event is sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), Pana Mayor Don Kroski and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

For more information, call Manar’s district office at 618-585-4848.

What: Consumer fraud workshop for senior citizens
When: 10:30 a.m. until noon Monday, Aug. 28
Where: Pana American Legion, 405 E. First St.

Category: Latest News

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