05072018 Manar JBT Staunton visit 4 650

STAUNTON – State Senators Andy Manar and Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant visited students and staff at Staunton Community Unit School District 6 last week.

Manar (D-Bunker Hill) is chairman of the Senate Appropriations II Committee, a member of the Senate Education Committee and represents Staunton in the Senate.

Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is the new chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee. Her visit to Staunton May 7 was part of her statewide “Chalk Talk” tour of schools.

Manar and Bertino-Tarrant met with members of the District Improvement Team to discuss the teacher shortage faced by many schools in the area. The senators have sponsored measures to make college more affordable for new teachers, streamline the teacher licensure process and make it easier for retired teachers to fill in as substitutes.

“For far too long we have been using legislative Band-Aids as solutions to address the teacher shortage across Illinois. We need to get to the root of the problem to guarantee our children and teachers have the means to be successful,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Visits and discussions like these help me gain a better understanding of how decisions we make in Springfield impact children and educators throughout the state.”

Manar said he appreciates Bertino-Tarrant’s interest in visiting schools around the state.

“It’s important that the chair of the Senate Education Committee visits smaller towns and schools in Illinois. Having Senator Bertino-Tarrant here today is valuable because we live in a diverse state, and it’s important that schools in the 48th Senate District are heard in Springfield,” he said.

Manar and Bertino-Tarrant participated in a group discussion led by Staunton Superintendent Dan Cox to address the challenges facing Staunton schools, such as high class sizes, lack of social emotional supports for students and a lack of core interventions services.

“Senator Manar and Senator Bertino-Tarrant have long been champions for education,” Cox said. “By them taking the time to visit schools and listen to teachers in the field, it shows their commitment to working with us as partners to build great schools for our young people and our communities.”

Under the new school funding formula championed by Manar and Bertino-Tarrant last year, Staunton schools will receive an additional $400,000 in state funding.

“In my eighth year as superintendent of schools, this is the first time I have been able to have discussions about how to invest new resources into our schools instead of having discussions about which programs and services to cut,” Cox said.

BUNKER HILL – Area public libraries will receive more than $344,000 in state grants for services, materials, equipment and technology, State Senator Andy Manar announced today.

“Public libraries are heart of many of the communities I represent in Springfield,” Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said. “I am pleased that Secretary of State Jesse White has chosen to support them in this way.”

The Illinois secretary of state awarded money from two different programs: the Illinois Public Library Per Capita grant and the Equalization Aid grants.

One area library received a 2018 Equalization Aid grant:

  • Frank Bertetti Public Library in Benld $1,035.50

Area libraries receiving 2018 Per Capita grants and the amounts are:

  • Assumption Public Library District $2,322.50
  • Frank Bertetti Public Library in Benld $1,945.00
  • Blue Mound Memorial Library District $3,058.75
  • Brighton Memorial Library District $2,817.50
  • Bunker Hill Public Library District $5,337.50
  • Carlinville Public Library $7,396.25
  • Decatur Public Library $95,152.50
  • Farmersville-Waggoner Public Library District $2,063.75
  • Gillespie Public Library $4,148.75
  • Girard Township Library $3,082.50
  • Harristown Public Library District $2,401.25
  • Hillsboro Public Library $7,758.75
  • Litchfield Public Library District $11,240.00
  • Kitchell Memorial Library in Morrisonville $1,528.75
  • Mount Olive Public Library $2,623.75
  • Nokomis Public Library $3,673.75
  • Carnegie-Schuyler Library in Pana $7,308.75
  • Doyle Public Library District in Raymond $2,360.00
  • Lincoln Public Library in Springfield $145,312.50
  • Staunton Public Library $6,423.75
  • Stonington Township Public Library $1,413.75
  • Taylorville Public Library $14,057.50
  • Grand Prairie of the West Public Library District in Virden $6,370.00
  • Witt Township Memorial Library $1,453.75
  • Worden Public Library District $1,740.00

Total Per Capita grants: $342,991.25

Per Capita grants help libraries pay for materials, personnel, equipment, electronic access, telecommunications and technology. Equalization Aid grants help qualifying public libraries with a low library tax base ensure a minimum level of funding for library services.

Statewide, libraries were awarded more than $15 million through the two grant programs this year.

05012018 Manar Madison Sapp 650

State Senator Andy Manar welcomed two area students to the Capitol this week as senators for the day.

On Tuesday, he was joined by Madison Sapp, 14, an eighth-grader at Meridian Middle School. She is the daughter of Josh and Mary Sapp of Decatur. She is involved in dance, softball and scholastic bowl.

While at the Capitol, Sapp toured the building, accompanied Manar to committee hearings and joined him on the Senate floor for a busy afternoon of debate and votes on key pieces of legislation.


05022018 Manar Andrew Miller 650 On Wednesday, Andrew Miller, a senior at Southwestern High School in Piasa joined Manar at the Capitol.

Miller, 18, of Jerseyville is the son of Chelsea Miller. He is involved in band, scholastic bowl, drama club and plays the violin. He will attend Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Mo., in the fall and plans to study political science.

While at the Capitol, Miller accompanied Manar to a meeting about a challenge facing rural independent pharmacies and joined him on the Senate floor for a busy afternoon of debate and votes on key pieces of legislation.

Truth in Hiring Act passes Senate, will be sent to governor's desk

Bruce Rauner can make a lasting, positive mark on Illinois government by outlawing the practice of concealing governor’s office salaries within state agency budgets, a practice known as “offshoring,” State Senator Andy Manar said today.

The Illinois Senate today approved the Truth in Hiring Act with bipartisan support. The accountability and transparency measure, sponsored by Manar in the Senate, will be sent to the governor’s desk.

“Offshoring didn’t start under this governor’s watch, but certainly he can be the governor who puts a stop to it,” Manar said.

The Truth in Hiring Act 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 Rauner’s office currently are paid by state agencies with funds intended for priorities such as economic development, public safety and child protection.

Offshoring has been utilized by Illinois governors, Democratic and Republican, for years to make it appear their office budgets are smaller than they actually are. Examples include paying an education advisor to the governor $250,000 from the Department of Human Services budget or a deputy chief of staff to the governor $140,000 from the Illinois State Police budget.

The measure was an initiative of Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza. It was approved with no opposition in the House.

“Signing the Truth in Hiring Act shouldn’t require much soul-searching by Gov. Rauner when it lands on his desk,” Manar said. “I urge him to enact it and join lawmakers of both parties and the comptroller in claiming a victory for Illinois taxpayers.”


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