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SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Secretary of State’s office has extended driver’s license expiration dates by one year for drivers age 75 and older, a move that State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) considers to be a crucial step forward in preventing spread of COVID-19 among older adults.

“Extraordinarily long lines and wait times is just about the last thing seniors ought to be subjected to right now,” Manar said. “I’m thankful Secretary White has offered this extension with no penalty and is continuing to make decisions with the health and safety of older adults in mind.”

In addition to being 75 years of age or older, the driver must have a valid license—drivers whose licenses have been suspended or revoked do not qualify for the one-year extension. Eligible drivers should soon receive a letter from the secretary of state as proof that they qualify.

For drivers under age 75, expiration dates for driver’s licenses, ID cards and license plate stickers have been extended until Nov. 1, 2020. Customers who choose to visit a facility must wear a face mask. In addition, customers are asked to be patient due to heavy volume and to be prepared to wait outside in various types of weather.

More information regarding services provided at local Secretary of State facilities can be found at www.ilsos.gov/facilityfinder/facility.

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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) announced that the City of Taylorville is the recipient of a $1.5 million infrastructure grant for improvements to East Main Cross Street under the Illinois Department of Economic Opportunity’s Fast Track Capital program, which will jump-start projects in underserved areas throughout the state.

Manar advocated to fund these projects during last spring’s budget negotiations.

“The past few months have had devastating effects on communities that were already underserved. Through the FastTrack program, the State is not only bringing jobs to those communities, but we’re also prioritizing long overdue construction projects,” Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said. “I commend Governor Pritzker for his continued commitment to ensuring the vitality of the downstate economy during this difficult time.”

The money for the City of Taylorville will be distributed to projects that include:
- Repairing East Main Cross Street;
- Improving curbs, gutters and ADA ramps;
- Rehabilitating utilities along East Main Cross Street from Walnut Street.

Fast Track is one of several new programs created by the State to provide emergency assistance for businesses and communities facing economic hardship as a result of the ongoing pandemic. To date, DCEO has launched more than $300 million in emergency relief programs – with the majority of funding being made available directly to businesses. DCEO is also administering separate programs to administer federal aid to counties and municipalities incurring costs from the COVID-19 emergency response.

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SPRINGFIELD – To call for increased assistance from Vistra Energy for communities affected by recent power plant closures, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) attended a Clean Energy Summit with fellow Senate lawmakers and stakeholders in Canton, Illinois today. Attending the summit from Montgomery County were Montgomery County Treasurer Nikki Lohman, Hillsboro Community School District Superintendent Dave Powell and Montgomery County Supervisor of Assessments Ray Durston.

When the Coffeen Power Station closed its doors nearly one year ago, Manar began collaborating with colleagues in Springfield to evaluate the best path forward to help families and local governments affected by several closures statewide.

“We know from firsthand experience that the coal industry has been a key cog in the downstate economy for decades.  But, we also know that we have to be realistic when it comes to the industry’s current condition,” Manar said. “Welcoming solar energy infrastructure would create jobs and undo some of the damage done to the local economies in Coffeen and Canton, but that’s not an immediate solution to the problems these people have right now.”

Though the legislative session was delayed by COVID-19, one proposal Manar is co-sponsoring would require property tax assessments on coal, gas, and nuclear plants to be frozen at pre-closure rates for five years, ensuring local governments and school districts with a consistent source of revenue in the short term.  Additionally, it provides an extra week of unemployment insurance benefits for those who are laid off from their job at a plant or mine.

“The task of providing relief to communities that have been directly harmed by the decision to shut down power plants has fallen to the legislature,” Manar said. “As we move forward to confront this challenge, our goals must include providing middle class families, local governments and school districts with as much leeway as possible to ease their revenue losses and tax burdens.” 

This legislation will likely be a piece of a larger package of energy legislation that could be taken up as early as the fall veto session.

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SPRINGFIELD – To discuss further steps to assist survivors of child abuse in the Springfield area and throughout downstate, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) met with Sangamon County Children’s Advocacy Center employees and Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois advocates Thursday.

During last spring’s budget negotiations, Manar, who chairs the Senate Appropriations II Committee, fought to ensure that Children’s Advocacy Centers received the funding they need to continue providing crucial treatment services.

“Yesterday I had the opportunity to see firsthand the dedication of the people who help abused children heal and find justice,” Manar said. “Thanks to groups like Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois, we are beginning to fill a large void in services for child abuse survivors, and I will continue to fight so they can help children in need throughout Illinois.”

The Sangamon County Child Advocacy Center serves Sangamon coordinates the investigation, prosecution, and treatment of child abuse cases. The center is able to reduce the trauma to child survivors by utilizing a multidisciplinary team approach that includes the Department of Children and Family Services, Law Enforcement, the State’s Attorney’s Office, and the medical and mental health communities.

"I am so appreciative of the time that Senator Manar took to learn more about the vital and essential work of the 40 children's advocacy centers in Illinois,” Kim Mangiaracino, Executive Director of Children's Advocacy Centers of Illinois said, “Funding CAC programs remain a top priority in assuring that survivors of abuse receive the services they need to provide justice, healing, and hope."

Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois is a network that coordinates and provides a comprehensive response to child abuse statewide by partnering with local CAC agencies to investigate and prosecute abuse claims.

To find a local children’s advocacy center, visit the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois website.

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