SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar is commending Illinois’ new governor for emphasizing the needs of downstate Illinois communities in his inaugural speech Monday.

“Central Illinois is filled with good people in great communities where there are real problems to be solved,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat who helped advise the governor’s transition team. “Gov. Pritzker’s words struck me as sincere, and I look forward to holding him to his promises to prioritize resources for central and southern Illinois.”

Rural, downstate Illinois communities would enjoy greater access to high-speed internet, more resources for public schools, road and bridge improvements, and help with job creation under priorities outlined by Pritzker.

During the speech, Pritzker emphasized the need for bipartisan cooperation in Springfield. He cited the cooperation of Taylorville residents who helped each other after a tornado ravaged the city in early December as evidence of what can be done when people work together.

He also emphasized investing in vocational training, community colleges and universities as an avenue for growing the economy.

“The people of downstate Illinois have been overlooked and neglected by the state’s leaders for years,” Manar said. “I’m thrilled the governor sees the same promise and resilience that I see in them.”

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SPRINGFIELD – Job creation in downstate Illinois, K-12 and higher education, and responsible spending by state government will continue to be priorities for State Senator Andy Manar, who was sworn in for his third term Wednesday, Jan. 9, at the Capitol.

“It’s a new day in Springfield with fresh faces and new ideas after four years of partisan gridlock,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat who was the driving force behind school funding reform and is chairman of a key Senate budget committee.

“I plan to continue pressing for fair school funding, desperately needed job creation in central Illinois and protections for rural health care. And I intend to continue reaching across the aisle to my Republican colleagues so we can make good things happen for downstate residents together.”

Among the highlights of Senate inauguration day was Senate President John Cullerton’s spotlight on a unique workforce training program through Richland Community College in Decatur that’s putting people to work. Courtney Carson, who oversees the program, and Chris Valdez, president of the college, were guests of Manar and the Senate president during the inauguration.

The program, which received a $1.5 million state grant in 2018, aims to give workers specific skills needed by employers, but also the basic, essential skills that workers need to get their foot in the door at good-paying jobs – things like punctuality, appropriate attire for interviews and professional behavior in the workplace.

The program is a partnership among the community college, employers and local and state officials. It is projected to result in 225 new jobs in Decatur. Cullerton called for replicating the program throughout Illinois.

“I want to expand the program statewide. I want to see it work in Danville and Rockford, the Quad-Cities and southern Illinois, Chicago’s West Side and the south suburbs,” Cullerton said.

“I want to see it expand to train Illinois workers for solar, wind and other renewable energy industries. If you want to bring businesses to Illinois, offer them workers who are second to none. And together, they will make Illinois better.”
Manar, a former mayor and elected county board official, was first elected to the Illinois Senate in 2012. He represents the 48th Senate District, which stretches from the east side of Springfield to Decatur in the north, spanning south into

Christian and Montgomery counties and portions of Macoupin and northern Madison counties.

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Calendar350Rear-facing car seats, blaze pink hunting clothes and required school safety drills are among the subjects contained in new state laws that take effect Jan. 1, 2019.

“Many of the laws that go on the books New Year’s Day reflect people’s desire to create a safer environment for their children and loved ones,” said State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill). “There are also numerous laws that make health care more accessible to rural Illinoisans and to require more accountability from government.”

In all, 253 new laws will be added to Illinois statutes on Jan. 1. Here are 10 to know:

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TAYLORVILLE – An ambulance service that has assisted injured Taylorville residents since a series of tornadoes swept through the city Saturday night will receive an expedited payment of money owed by the state, State Senator Andy Manar announced today.

At Manar’s request, the Illinois comptroller is accelerating a payment of $18,680 to Dunn’s Ambulance Service in Taylorville.

Numerous people were injured and hundreds of structures were damaged or destroyed because of the tornadoes. Cleanup and recovery efforts have resulted in additional injuries.

“I appreciate the comptroller prioritizing the needs of Taylorville as people here work to get their lives back on track,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat whose district includes Christian County and Taylorville.

The payment will be released later today. It largely represents Medicaid vouchers that have been submitted to the comptroller’s office for payment.

Additionally, the comptroller has expedited payments to Taylorville Memorial Hospital throughout the week, bringing the total so far to $283,000. That money also largely represents Medicaid vouchers that had been submitted to the comptroller’s office for payment. The comptroller intends to continue prioritizing payments to the hospital as the community recovers.

“Our hearts go out to those recovering and rebuilding after the severe storms,” Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza said this week.

Residents and businesses that are experiencing immediate problems or challenges as a result of Saturday’s storms may call Manar’s district office in Bunker Hill at 618-585-4848.

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Contact Me

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

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

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