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SPRINGFIELD – The Rauner administration’s strict 45-hour cap on home care overtime for personal assistants to disabled Illinoisans is too severe and deserves review, State Senator Andy Manar said Monday, flanked by two constituents who are struggling because of the policy.

“We’re seeing quality-of-life and quality-of-care suffer as a result of the governor’s restrictions,” Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said. “Gov. Rauner should remember that some cuts may look good on a balance sheet, but they have life-threatening consequences when put into practice.”

Manar sponsored legislation (HB 3376) in 2017 to extend the overtime cap to 55 hours in an effort to compromise between disability advocates and the administration. Gov. Rauner vetoed the measure.

Manar said he intends to introduce legislation again to address the matter, with input from those who are most affected.

“This policy deserves another look, and lawmakers deserve to hear from constituents who must live with the decisions that are made here in Springfield,” he said.

Joining Manar were DHS Home Service Program consumer David Spurney and his caregiver, Tami Straub, both Staunton residents who are struggling because of the overtime cap.

Read more: Manar, constituents raise concerns about cap on personal care hours

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STAUNTON – Smaller class sizes, school safety improvements and more emotional and behavioral support for students are some of the gains Staunton public schools have experienced as a result of school funding reform, State Senator Andy Manar learned during a recent tour of the district.

“Staunton schools are seeing significant benefits from the new school funding formula,” Manar said. “The district is making long-overdue changes and improvements that make good sense for families and students in this community.”
Staunton public schools are seeing more than $770,500 in additional money in the first two years of the new formula. Some of the changes that have been possible as a result of the increased funding:

  • Five new teachers and three support staff hired.
  • Decreased class sizes. For example, the addition of another fifth-grade teacher means there are about 26 students in each fifth-grade class, rather than the 34 or 35 students that would have been in each room otherwise.
  • Addition of a part-time counselor at the junior high and elementary school.
  • Established a peer intervention program that enables students to tutor, coach and mentor other students who are having difficulties
  • Expansion of the district’s agriculture program, which is offered to students in junior high and high school.
  • StauntonTour1350Expanded music education offerings.
  • Addition of a family engagement position for preschool families. Parents can borrow materials from the school district and be connected with available community resources.
  • 1:1 student computer program offered to fifth graders and ninth graders.
  • School safety improvements, including a new website that offers more transparency and better communication with parents, plus the addition of Navigate Prepared, an app that helps superintendents, principals, school staff and first responders know which students are in the building and receive alerts about emergencies.

“Now, for the first time in a long time, as a result of evidence-based funding we are having conversations about where we can drive our dollars to have the greatest impact on student learning versus the discussions of the past where we talked about what programs and services we could cut that would do the least harm,” said Dan Cox, superintendent of Staunton Community Unit School District 6.

The district serves about 1,300 students in the Staunton area.

Manar Carlinville Civics ClassState Senator Andy Manar visited with civics students at Carlinville High School on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

Manar was invited by social studies teacher Logan Ridenour to talk to 25 students about representing his constituents, the difference between open and closed primary elections, his journey to becoming a senator, significant legislative accomplishments and more. Afterward, students had an opportunity to ask Manar questions.

Carlinville High School has been recognized as an Illinois Democracy School by the McCormick Foundation because of its emphasis on civics courses and extracurricular opportunities that encourage students to become more involved in local and state issues.

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SPRINGFIELD – The date for evening office hours hosted by State Senator Andy Manar and Springfield’s Ward 3 Ald. Doris Turner has been changed to Monday, Oct. 15.

Manar and Turner will be available to speak with residents about issues and concerns between 5 and 6:30 p.m. at the City of Springfield’s Office of Community Relations, 1450 Groth St.

The event originally was scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 10 at the same location.

Constituents will be able to ask questions and seek assistance with issues involving state agencies or programs. Walk-in visits are welcome. Appointments are encouraged but not required. To schedule a time, call Senator Manar’s Springfield office at 217-782-0228.

Constituents who are unable to make it to these office hours but need assistance with a matter may 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
  • Springfield office, 119A Capitol Building – 217-782-0228
  • Decatur office, Macon County Office Building, 141 S. Main St., Suite 502 – 217-429-8110
 

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