Declares March 2018 Social Work Month in Illinois

Emotion350SPRINGFIELD – As Illinois grapples with how to address such pressing challenges as violence, addiction, poverty and equal rights, an army of social workers is there to offer help and guidance.

In fact, more than 20,000 licensed social workers are employed throughout Illinois to help people in times of crisis. They work in school districts, colleges and universities, state and local government, social service agencies, the military, health care and mental health organizations and private practices.

Senate Resolution 1371, sponsored by Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), declares March 2018 Social Work Month in Illinois. It was adopted by the Senate Thursday.

“This resolution recognizes the accomplishments of social workers who are in our school districts, in our government buildings and working in private employment every day,” Manar said.

“They are there to help children and adults on their worst days – to cope with grief and uncertainty, to overcome abuse and addiction, to recover from a disaster when all seems lost, and to gather the courage to face down discrimination and bullying.”

This year’s Social Work Month theme is “Social Workers” Leaders. Advocates. Champions.” According to the National Association of Social Workers, the profession is expected to grow faster than average during the next seven years, with more than 649,000 people employed as social workers by 2024.

Social workers are the largest group of providers of mental health services in Illinois, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is one of the largest employers of social workers holding advanced degrees.

Mary Garrison, professor of social work at Millikin University in Decatur, said NASW is honored to have Manar sponsor a resolution for Social Work Month 2018.

“This year's theme supports the efforts of Illinois’s 20,000 licensed social workers and Senator Manar to work actively to meet the needs of those facing barriers of injustice and impacted by abuse, neglect, poverty, addiction and mental illness,” she said. “Illinois social workers thank Senator Manar for recognizing our professional efforts to ensure rights for all through engagement, intervention and advocacy.”

Category: Latest News

Today, Gov. Bruce Rauner was in Washington, D.C., to watch the proceedings in a U.S. Supreme Court case over whether non-union workers who enjoy benefits and wages negotiated by that union should be required to pay for that representation.

Of course they should. But Bruce Rauner thinks otherwise. He’s supporting an effort to overturn that protection and he is there watching the case.

He’s also lobbying Congress to strip away the pension protections in the Illinois Constitution so he can slash retirement security for workers and retirees. He can’t get any state support for his unconstitutional ideas in Illinois so he’s out in Washington trying to get Congress and the Trump White House to give him an easy way out rather than own up to the responsibilities.

I will oppose this in Springfield. I need you to call your member of Congress and tell him or her how wrong Gov. Rauner is on this issue. Don’t let Congress wipe out Illinois’ constitutional protections for workers’ retirement security. Click here to look up your congressional representative.

Category: Latest News

ClockPANA – State Senator Andy Manar will host traveling office hours in Pana the evening of March 6 to allow residents a convenient opportunity to seek help with matters related to state government.

The event is scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 6 at Pana City Hall, 120 E. Third St.

Constituents will be able to ask questions and seek assistance with issues involving state agencies or programs.

Appointments are encouraged but not required. To schedule a time, call Senator Manar’s Bunker Hill office at 618-585-4848. Walk-in visits are welcome during traveling office hours.

Constituents who need help with an issue but are unable to make it March 6 are welcome to call or visit Senator Manar’s district offices any time throughout the year to speak with a staff member. The locations and phone numbers are:

  • Bunker Hill office, 115 N. Washington St. – 618-585-4848
  • Decatur office, Macon County Office Building, 141 S. Main St., Suite 502 – 217-429-8110
  • Springfield office, 119A Capitol Building – 217-782-0228
Category: Latest News

RetiredTeacher350Benefits for retired teachers are a target of Gov. Bruce Rauner again this year as he seeks to balance the state budget on the backs of working people and retirees.

Here’s what you need to know.

The governor outlined a framework for what he described as a “balanced” budget during a speech to the General Assembly on Valentine’s Day.

Unfortunately for the people of Illinois, his plan relies on lots of imagined savings from measures that would require favorable court decisions, agreements with unions, the sale of real estate and other iffy acts that could take years – should they happen at all.

Among the savings Gov. Rauner banks on in his proposal: $129 million by gutting health insurance for retired teachers and community college employees. He wants to double the out-of-pocket cost for retirees to go to the doctor, see specialists, undergo necessary surgeries and purchase medication.

Specifically, his plan eliminates the state’s $125 million subsidy for the Teachers’ Retirement Insurance Program (TRIP) and the $4.4 million subsidy for the College Insurance Program (CIP).

I see two significant problems with the governor’s proposal. First, it likely would be found unconstitutional. Second, it targets retired teachers whose modest pensions barely offer them enough to pay the utility bills and fill the refrigerator each month – people like elderly kindergarten teachers who haven’t set foot in a classroom in decades and have no Social Security to fall back on.

Here's an article from the Springfield State Journal-Register that contains more details about the governor's planned cuts and how they would affect retired teachers.

Gov. Rauner has proposed a heartless plan to weaken retirement security for aging teachers who worked hard during their careers to educate children. Democratic and Republican lawmakers are jointly opposed to the idea, and I believe we can come together to find other ways to save $129 million.

I will continue to keep you informed about developments regarding any cuts to the TRIP and CIP programs, but should you have any questions, please feel free to contact my office at 217-782-0228.

Category: Latest News

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Contact Me

Springfield Office:
119A Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-0228
Fax: (217) 557-3930

Decatur Office:
Macon County Office Building
141 S. Main St., Suite 502
Decatur, IL 62523
Phone: (217) 429-8110
Fax: (217) 429-8018

Bunker Hill Office:
115 N. Washington, P.O. Box 636
Bunker Hill, IL 62014
Phone: (618) 585-4848