SPRINGFIELD – A plan to bar the practice of concealing, or “offshoring,” governors’ payroll costs within state agencies is an example of lawmakers of both parties coming together to right a wrong on behalf of the taxpayers of Illinois, one of the new law’s chief sponsors said.

“This is a sensible law and a victory for Illinois taxpayers. Now they will know exactly how much it costs to staff the governor’s office, regardless of political affiliation. This kind of lawmaking is what constituents expect us to do in Springfield,” said State Senator Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat and chairman of a key Senate budget committee.

The Truth in Hiring Act, signed into law today, would stop Illinois governors from concealing their staff’s salaries within state agency budgets – a practice that deceives taxpayers by suggesting a governor’s budget is smaller than it actually is.

An initiative of Comptroller Susana Mendoza, the Truth in Hiring Act passed in both houses of the legislature with bipartisan support. It simply says that every employee who works in the governor’s office will be paid from the governor’s payroll. Their salaries will be counted in the governor’s budget and will not be pulled from agencies that are supposed to protect children and the elderly or put state troopers out patrolling highways.

Nearly 60 percent of employees working for Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office currently are paid by state agencies with funds intended for priorities such as economic development, public safety and child protection.
However, offshoring has been utilized by Illinois governors, Democratic and Republican, for years.

 

Back Wages Owed to State WorkersSPRINGFIELD – Two Illinois lawmakers are calling on the governor to stop dragging his feet on payments to the roughly 24,000 public employees who are owed back wages by the state.

State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and State Rep. Jerry Costello II (D-Smithton) sent a letter to Gov. Bruce Rauner this week urging him to expedite the payment of $63.25 million in wages owed to the employees and reminding him lawmakers included money for the back payments in the state budget. The appropriation was included in House Bill 109, which received strong bipartisan support in the General Assembly.

As of this week, state agencies under the governor’s control have not submitted vouchers to the comptroller so the long-overdue wages can be paid.

“Gov. Rauner needs to get with the program,” Manar said. “The state Supreme Court has ruled this debt must be paid. Lawmakers of both parties agree the debt must be paid. The affected employees clearly want to be paid, and the comptroller is ready to cut the checks. The only person holding up the process is the governor.”

Rauner signed the state budget into law June 4. It went into effect July 1.

“Thousands of workers in my district and across the state have been waiting for money rightfully owed to them since 2011,” Costello said. “The measure to pay them was passed with overwhelming veto-proof bipartisan support in the General Assembly, and there is no reason that unnecessary government bureaucracy should continue to get in the way of giving our workers what they legally earned.”

The back wages are contractually obligated and are Illinois’ oldest unpaid bill. Employees who are owed compensation include correctional officers, caregivers for veterans and people with developmental disabilities, mental health professionals and others. The largest amount, nearly $41 million, is owed to workers with the state department of corrections, followed by the department of human services, which owes more than $17 million to its employees.

07232018 Manar Leg of Yr SWCD 350SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar received the 2018 legislator of the year award from the Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

The award was presented during the organization’s annual meeting in Springfield Monday, July 23.

“This recognition is an honor. Agriculture is our state’s No. 1 industry, and it’s impossible to put a price tag on the work of soil and water conservation districts – especially in downstate Illinois. I am proud to advocate on their behalf in Springfield,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat.

Manar is chairman of one of the Senate’s two appropriations committees and is one of the General Assembly’s budget negotiators. He also sits on the Senate’s Agriculture, Labor and Education committees.

Pictured: Steve Stierwalt, board president of the Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) during the organization’s annual meeting in Springfield Monday, July 23, 2018.

Manar August Trav Off Hrs 600W

BUNKER HILL – State Senator Andy Manar will host evening office hours in Macoupin, Montgomery and Madison counties in August to allow residents a convenient opportunity to seek help with matters related to state government.

The times, dates and locations are:

  • Monday Aug. 13 – 5-6:30 p.m. at Worden Village Hall, 115 E. Wall St.
  • Monday, Aug. 13 – 7-8:30 p.m. at Dorsey Community Center, Bohlen Avenue
  • Tuesday, Aug. 21 – 6-7:30 p.m. at Hillsboro Municipal Building, 447 S. Main St.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 22 – 6-7:30 p.m. at Carlinville City Hall, 550 N. Broad St.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 29 – 6-7:30 p.m. at Nokomis City Complex, 22 S. Cedar St.

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 Bunker Hill office at 618-585-4848.

Constituents who are unable to make it to these office hours but need assistance with an issue 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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