11092018 Manar IRTA AwardState Senator Andy Manar received the 2018 legislator of the year award from the Illinois Retired Teachers Association this month.

Manar was presented the award during a ceremony Nov. 9. Present was Dave Jokisch, president of the Macoupin County Retired Teachers Association. Also on hand for the presentation were IRTA president Roger Hampton, IRTA legislative chair Bob Pinkerton and others.

“I am humbled to be recognized as the first IRTA legislator of the year. It is truly an honor,” Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said. “I’ll always fight for teachers and educators, both in the classroom and in retirement, to protect what their hard work has earned. I appreciate this distinction and look forward to working together in the future.”

Manar received the recognition for his work sponsoring Senate Bill 3046, which allows Teachers Retirement System annuitants the ability to opt back into the Teachers Retirement Insurance Program if they had opted out.

“Senator Andy Manar is a trailblazer for retirees and continues to build an impressive record of public service where he put retirees at the forefront,” Hampton said. “He continues to work to use his voice to raise the status quo and improve the conditions under which retirees live.”

Manar also is working to address the teacher shortage problem in Illinois and supported House Bill 5627, an IRTA initiative to increase the amount of time a retired teacher could teach part-time without impairing his or her retirement status.

The Illinois Retired Teachers Association represents 38,500 retired teachers and their families. It is the sole watchdog for retired teachers in the Illinois Legislature.

Category: Latest News

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois physicians will not face discipline for recommendations they make to aggressively treat Lyme disease under a new law supported by State Senator Andy Manar.

The Illinois Senate on Thursday voted to override the governor’s veto of a bipartisan plan that permits Lyme disease sufferers to receive extended regimens of antibiotics under a physician’s care.

The plan clears the way for doctors to prescribe more aggressive treatments for Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses than are currently accepted under industry standards without facing disciplinary action by the state.

“Numerous people in my Senate district suffer from the life-altering effects of Lyme, and I believe this plan is a step in the right direction as we learn more about how to successfully treat the disease,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat who co-sponsored the measure in the Senate.

House Bill 4515 creates the Lauryn Russell Lyme Disease Prevention Act. It requires state officials to form a Lyme disease prevention and outreach program and establish a 12-member Lyme disease task force.

The bill passed in the spring with overwhelming support from both Democrats and Republicans in the General Assembly, but Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed it in August. This week lawmakers voted to override the governor – 110-0 in the House and 48-0 in the Senate.

There were 237 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in Illinois in 2016, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Category: Latest News

11132018Manar350SPRINGFIELD – Illinois should reassess how it awards pre-K grants after school districts throughout central Illinois were unexpectedly rejected for money they’ve long relied upon to run their programs, State Senator Andy Manar said today.

“How can we ensure every student arrives at kindergarten ready to learn when the state is pulling the rug out from under school districts that are trying to help?” Manar said. “We have to ensure these grants get to the communities that need them the most so that we can continue to help the children who need it the most.”

School districts throughout Illinois earlier this year were denied pre-K grants by the Illinois State Board of Education without warning, even though they have been receiving the grants for years.

Bunker Hill CUSD 8 in Macoupin County is among those that were denied. Last year the district received $104,000 for its preschool program; this year it received $0. The district has received a pre-K grant since at least 1995, according to records.

Manar said the Illinois State Board of Education cut Bunker Hill’s pre-K funding by 100 percent with no warning and little explanation. Half of all students in the district are considered low income.

Studies show that early childhood education is vital to a lifetime of successful learning and that children from disadvantaged homes are less likely to attend preschool.

Manar noted that the abrupt decision by ISBE to change the way it awards early childhood grants undercuts priorities identified in school funding reform discussions, including equity, poverty and need. ISBE’s new process benefits wealthy school districts that can afford to pay consultants to write their grant applications, he added.

“Bunker Hill is not alone in this. Numerous rural and downstate communities are in the same boat, wondering how to move forward,” he said. “Like funding for K-12 schools, pre-K grants should be based on need, not on who wrote the best grant request.”

Category: Latest News

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar released the following statement about his appointment to governor-elect J.B. Pritzker’s budget transition team:

“This is a unique opportunity to lend a downstate perspective to the governor-elect’s transition team. I look forward to sharing my experiences and the priorities of the people I represent to make sure our new governor has the full picture and perspective of what’s needed to get our state back on track.”

Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat, is chairman of one of the Senate’s two budget committees.

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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