11082017 Manar and Danasia Nelson 550

SPRINGFIELD – Danasia Nelson, a freshman at Douglas MacArthur High School in Decatur, joined Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) at the Illinois Capitol Wednesday as his page for the day.

Nelson, 14, is enrolled in honors classes at school and enjoys playing volleyball and following politics. Accompanying her to Springfield was her aunt, Lisa Stanley of Decatur.

Manar talked with Nelson about her interests and her goals for the future in the video below.

Manar Mason Manufacturing Tour 350 1DECATUR – Senator Andy Manar toured Mason Manufacturing in Decatur recently to learn more about issues of importance to the manufacturing industry in Illinois.

Mason Manufacturing produces shell and heat tube exchangers, pressure vessels, columns and tanks that are used in a variety of processing industries, such as refineries, ethanol plants and food production. The company, at 1645 N. Railroad Ave., employs more than 50 people, including highly trained fabricators and welders.

Manar (D-Bunker Hill) toured the plant Nov. 1 with Bob McKinley, president of Mason Manufacturing, representatives of the Illinois Manufacturing Association and State Rep. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur).

Senate overrides veto of measure to address shortage of substitutes

SubstituteTEacherSPRINGFIELD – Active substitute teachers will be able to seek a refund of the $50 fee they’re required to pay when they apply for a state license under a new law sponsored by Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill).

“This is an example of what we can do to ease up on the government bureaucracy that’s got a stranglehold on the teaching profession in Illinois,” said Manar, a member of the Senate Education Committee.

“We have empty classrooms because of a statewide teacher shortage, a rapidly shrinking pool of substitutes and students who are suffering as a result. Curbing fees and eliminating unnecessary red tape will help address some of these problems.”

The Senate Wednesday voted 53-0 to override the governor’s veto of House Bill 3298. The measure authorizes a refund of the licensure application fee for substitutes as long as they can offer evidence of teaching at least 10 full school days within a year of being licensed.

The House overrode the governor’s veto 110-0 in October. The law goes into effect immediately.

School districts statewide are experiencing difficulty recruiting and retaining qualified full-time and substitute teachers.

During a hearing of the Senate Education Committee in Decatur Monday, lawmakers were told that teachers around the country often skip over Illinois when they’re looking for a job because of low starting salaries, licensure difficulties, lack of mentoring and other issues. The teacher shortage disproportionately affects districts in central Illinois and rural parts of the state.

Debt Transparency Act becomes law after Senate overrides governor’s veto

ManarMendoza11082017SPRINGFIELD – A day after Illinois’ bill backlog reached $16.7 billion, members of the state Senate rejected a system that allows government agencies to conceal unpaid invoices from the comptroller and taxpayers for months on end.

The Illinois Senate on Wednesday voted to override the governor’s veto of the Debt Transparency Act, a commonsense measure that demands better accounting and reporting practices by state agencies so that officials can understand the true extent of the bill backlog at any given time.

“There is no reason that state agencies cannot do a better job of communicating with the comptroller each month about invoices they’ve received that will need to be paid,” said Senator Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat and the chief Senate sponsor of the act.

With the Senate’s vote to override, the act takes effect Jan. 1. The House overrode the veto on Oct. 25.

An initiative of Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza, the act requires state agencies to report monthly to the comptroller the bills they are holding and estimate the amount of interest that will be paid on those bills.

Until now, agencies have not been required to regularly report their liabilities. The lapse created problems for the comptroller, who is charged with balancing the state’s checkbook and prioritizing payments to vendors.

“The financial pressure on Illinois government has not lifted, as evidenced by the growing bill backlog,” Manar said. “Businesses all over Illinois are patiently waiting to be paid for services and goods they’ve provided. The least we can do is engage in basic, responsible accounting practices and communicate across offices as we try to work through this.”

The legislation is House Bill 3649.

In the news

Illinois Senate OKs 'debt transparency' measure over veto | The Associated Press

Senate overrides veto of Debt Transparency Act | WAND-TV

Bipartisan override of debt transparency veto clouds Rauner's view | Chicago Sun-Times

State agencies now have to provide monthly updates of bills they've accumulated | Belleville News-Democrat

 

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