beaver dam2BUNKER HILL - Under the state’s new modified Stay at Home Order that went into effect today, 60 state parks and historic sites in Illinois are now open for recreational outdoor activities, including Beaver Dam State Park.

 Last week, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources released an initial list of just 25 parks that were set to open. Concerned about the absence of parks within a reasonable travel distance for families in Macoupin and surrounding counties, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and other downstate legislators asked the Department of Natural Resources and Governor JB Pritzker to include Beaver Dam State Park.

 The Pritzker administration today announced it amended the new Stay at Home Order to include Beaver Dam among 35 parks added to the initial list published by IDNR.

 “Outdoor recreation is among the healthiest ways to cope with the uncertainty and ease the restlessness that many are experiencing right now. Our family is struggling at times with the Stay at Home Order—especially our three children. Getting outdoors helps them,” Manar said. “I appreciate IDNR and the governor taking into consideration my suggestions for reopening Beaver Dam State Park in Macoupin County.”

 Provided that they follow social distancing guidelines, guests will be allowed to engage in activities at reopened state parks such as boating in groups of no more than two, wildlife observation, hiking, biking, horse riding, and fishing.

 All visitor centers, campgrounds, playgrounds, shelter reservations, interpretive educational programs, beaches, special events and concessions will remain closed. Manar said he believes the next phase of opening will include additional parks and camping on a limited basis.

A full list of parks that reopen today, as well as social distancing guidelines for guests can be found here.

Lawmakers say increased funding is key to reopening economy

3097 macoupin county health department 62626 wke 1SPRINGFIELD - To help local health departments sustain their COVID-19 response efforts in addition to their basic functions, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and other Downstate Senate Democrats are pushing to double state funding to support local health departments for the coming year.

Manar’s plan would increase funding for Local Health Protection Grants to $36 million in the state’s next budget, which Manar says is key to opening up the economy.

“Our state’s response and recovery will require 97 fully staffed local health departments to continue to do their part each and every day to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They are the first line of response and are the foundation to reopening the economy,” Manar said.

Manar says mounting fiscal uncertainty and looming cuts to county and municipal budgets could impede local public health efforts and our state’s progress as a whole. “This additional funding will ensure they have what they need to do their jobs effectively through the end of our recovery period,” he added.

As a lead budget negotiator and chair of one of the Senate’s two appropriations committees, Manar has been vocal about the need to reinforce support for local health departments.

“As we continue to seek solutions to the unique problems the coronavirus pandemic has presented to our state, we have to adopt an approach that continues to breathe life into the organizations that allow our downstate communities to thrive,” said State Senator Dave Koehler, a Democrat representing parts of Tazewell, Peoria, and Fulton Counties. "Downstate is built on the back of entities like small businesses and local health departments, so we need to give them every chance to succeed going forward.”

"Our economic response to COVID-19 needs to match the scale of the crisis," said State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville). "We must be ready to deal with the financial fallout after this emergency, and as our local governments prepare for cuts, we have to prioritize funding for our health departments to ensure our communities can bounce back."

“This is a budget process unlike any we’ve ever faced before,” said State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign). “Our local health departments are the first line of defense against an infectious disease, and we will fight to ensure there is adequate funding available to them to cover their programs.”

“By increasing funding for local health departments, Illinois is reaffirming its commitment to the well-being of its residents,” said State Senator Rachelle Crowe, a Democrat representing parts of Madison, Jersey, and St. Clair Counties. “In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring health departments can operate is critical to public safety.”

Local Health Protection Grants provide funding to certified local health departments to ensure that basic levels of protection for Illinois residents are maintained at the community level for infectious diseases, food protection, safety of potable water supply and private sewage disposal. Funds are distributed by the Illinois Department of Public Health based on a formula that includes population and poverty levels within each jurisdiction.

“This pandemic has demanded an unprecedented response beyond the operating capacities of most local health departments and the budgetary capacities of most county boards, so departments are already forced to spread themselves thin,” Manar said. “As local governments begin to grapple with balanced budgets, it is critical that local health departments remain stable and are able to respond to the spread of COVID-19 when needed. This is key to reopening the economy.”

imageDECATUR — Following Gov. JB Pritzker's decision on Monday to send 300 testing kits to Fair Havens Senior Living Facility to cope with its COVID-19 outbreak, which has already claimed nine lives, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), State Senator Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet), Decatur Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe, State Representative Sue Scherer (D-Decatur), State Representative Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur), and Macon County Board Chairman Kevin Greenfield issued the following joint statement:

"The situation at Fair Havens Senior Living is dire, and the decisive action by the Pritzker administration and Illinois Department of Public Health will save lives. These 300 tests will allow county health officials to identify and isolate carriers, which is the first step in halting the spread of COVID-19 throughout the facility and Decatur community.

“We thank Gov. Pritzker and IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike for responding to our request, stepping up to address this urgent need for assistance, and protecting the health and safety of Fair Havens’ residents, its staff and their families.”

According to Macon County Health Department officials, there are 36 COVID-19 cases linked to Fair Havens Senior Living Facility, including nine deaths.

FOID CCL graphic

Last week, the Illinois State Police issued new emergency rules to help firearm owners with expired Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) cards and Conceal Carry Licenses during the COVID-19. The rules ease renewal requirements and address the FOID renewal backlog.

What is the impact of the state's disaster declaration on my FOID or CCL expiration date?
Firearms Owners Identification (FOID) card holders and Concealed Carry License (CCL) holders who submit their renewal application will remain valid during the duration of the state’s disaster proclamation and for a period of 12 months following the termination of the disaster, even if their renewal application is/was not submitted prior to expiration.

CCL holders will need to submit proof of their three-hour renewal training within 12 months following the termination of the state's disaster proclamation in order to maintain the validity of their CCL.

What if my FOID Card is revoked during the COVID-19 disaster period?
The Illinois State Police will continue to enforce both FOID card and CCL prohibitors. FOID/CCL card holders who receive revocation notices shall return their FOID/CCL and Firearm Disposition Record form to the Illinois State Police.

I am a CCL holder. How can I complete my three-hour training?
Renewal applications will be accepted without proof that renewal training is completed. CCL licensees will need to submit proof of their three-hour renewal training within 12 months following the termination of the state's disaster proclamation in order to maintain the validity of their CCL license

My FOID card expired last week and I just sent in my renewal. How do these rules affect me?
FOID cards will remain valid during the duration of the state’s disaster proclamation and for a period of 12 months following the termination of the disaster even if a renewal application is/was not submitted prior to expiration.

My FOID card shows that it is expired, but these rules mean that it is still valid. I went to my local dealer and they refused to sell me ammunition and/or a firearm. Why?
Dealers are required to check your FOID card before selling ammunition and/or a firearm. A dealer may decline to sell ammunition and/or a firearm if they so choose. Policies on this issue may vary from store to store. Federal regulations pertaining to the purchase of ammunition and firearms have not changed.

My Illinois DL or ID card is expired, may I apply for a FOID/CCL?
Yes, per the Governor’s Executive Order, expired DL or ID cards will be treated as valid for the duration of the disaster proclamation and 30 days thereafter.

If my FOID card expired in February, and I just sent in my FOID card renewal application, and the disaster order terminates in August, is my FOID card valid through August of 2021?

I submitted a FOID/CCL application last month. Are new FOID and CCL applications still being processed or only applications for renewal?
New applications are being processed, but you should expect delays. Like all entities, our normal operations have been impacted by COVID 19.

My FOID/CCL expired three months ago, and I haven’t submitted a renewal application as of today. Can I submit my late FOID/CCL renewal application now in order for my expired FOID/CCL to remain valid, or was there a specific time frame I needed to do this in, in order for it to remain valid?
Your expired FOID/CCL will remain valid for the duration of the disaster proclamation plus 12 months. If you fail to file a renewal application during that time frame, your FOID/CCL license will expire once the 12-month period has elapsed.

COVID19 Updates


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