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BUNKER HILL - In an effort to incentivize businesses into calling downstate home, Macoupin and Christian Counties have been designated an Illinois Enterprise Zone, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) announced Friday.

“This is a time where we ought to be exploring every opportunity to rebuild local economies in rural areas. Making it easier to do business is a simple thing we can do to help when so many are struggling to make ends meet,” Manar said. “Approving Macoupin and Christian Counties' status as an enterprise zone is a necessary step toward improving the wellbeing of the business community in downstate Illinois.”

The Illinois Enterprise Zone Program encourages job growth and investment in economically depressed areas. Companies within a zone, or that agree to move into one, may qualify for tax incentives that include sales tax exemptions on purchases of building materials, an investment tax credit, and in some instances, an exemption for utility taxes. Each zone is administered by local officials under rules set by the State.

Incentives offered by the program also include:

  • An exemption on the state utility tax for electricity and natural gas
  • An exemption on the Illinois Commerce Commission’s administrative charge and telecommunication excise tax

“I’m thankful for the leadership of Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry, Pana Mayor Don Kroski, Christian County Chairwoman Becky Edwards, and Carlinville Mayor Deanna Demuzio," Manar said. "They came together and put in the necessary work to update their county's status as an enterprise zone, a vital step toward improving the wellbeing of their respective business communities."

The new zones will become effective on January 1st, 2021. Once designated, an area may remain an Enterprise Zone for fifteen years, with a review by the Enterprise Zone Board after thirteen years for a possible ten-year extension of the zone designation.

For more information about DCEO’s Enterprise Zone Program, visit: https://bit.ly/2Z6iSms.

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DECATUR – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) offered his congratulations to Decatur Township Supervisor Lisa Stanley on her appointment to serve on the state’s newly formed Commission on Poverty Elimination and Economic Security.  The appointment was recently made by Illinois Senate President Don Harmon.

“Lisa Stanley is a tireless advocate for the voiceless in and around her community and is an ideal fit for this appointment,” Manar said. “She understands the deep challenges associated with generational poverty, and with Lisa on board, I have no doubt that meaningful change can be achieved.”

The Commission on Poverty Elimination and Economic Security’s goal is to effectively inform the public policy making process by providing lawmakers with an understanding of the root social, economic, and cultural causes of poverty and economic insecurity in Illinois.

“I’ve dedicated my life to helping those in need, and serving on this commission gives me the chance to continue improving the lives of those who need it most,” Stanley said. “I’m thankful to President Harmon for the opportunity and to Senator Manar for his advocacy.”

Stanley currently serves as the Decatur Township Supervisor and has worked diligently to provide emergency services and assistance for clients who have no income. Through the duration of the COVID-19 crisis, she has worked with the Decatur Community Foundation and United Way to reoffer assistance for those struggling to pay for rent, utilities, and mortgages.

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SPRINGFIELD – $5 million in financial assistance will be available to livestock producers and small meat and poultry plants hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic via the Illinois Department of Agriculture, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) announced Thursday. 

Manar, who serves as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations II Committee and on the Senate Agriculture Committee, led the charge to support this initiative during last spring’s budget negotiations.

“Illinois’ proud agricultural tradition is built on the hard work and dedication of our farmers,” Manar said. “They work every day to provide for people across the state, and that’s why we prioritized them in this year’s state budget. It’s our obligation to return the favor in any way possible.”

The COVID-19 pandemic drastically reduced the processing of livestock throughout the state, which led to farmers holding animals for a longer period of time with further input costs and cancelled, delayed or reduced sales.

Financial assistance is available through three programs administered by the Dept. of Ag. Individuals and businesses are only eligible to apply for one program, and applicants located in a disproportionately impacted area will receive a 10% increase in funding. A list of DIA’s can be found on the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website.

Online applications are available at agr.state.il.us. Applications will close on Oct. 31, 2020. Questions about this funding can be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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BUNKER HILL – Following a meeting with local officials and Vistra’s announcement that the Kincaid Power Plant would be shuttered within a decade, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement:

“For decades, the Kincaid plant has been a source of good paying union jobs, paving a path to economic security for countless families in the area. While the effects of the closure won’t be felt immediately, my colleagues and I are working diligently on a plan that will mitigate damage done to working families and the local economies of the places these plants call home.

“Under a proposal I’m sponsoring, property tax assessments on coal, gas, and nuclear plants would be frozen at pre-closure rates for five years, so that schools, local governments, and individual taxpayers in towns like Coffeen and Kincaid aren’t stuck with the bill for looming revenue shortfalls befalling their communities.

“While maintaining a stable revenue base is a short-term fix, it’s necessary to maintaining the economic viability of our communities. Ultimately, the state’s commitment to reinvesting resources in Downstate communities rocked by plant closures has been woefully inadequate for far too long. This commitment needs to be taken seriously, and that means substantially increasing this reinvestment. It’s on all of us to continue supporting the good paying union jobs that will be lost as a result of these closures. By transitioning the already existing plants into sustainable centers for clean energy production and storage, we can do just that, securing the economic stability of Downstate Illinois going forward.”

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