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SPRINGFIELD – Throughout American history, only 32 individuals have lain in state in the rotunda of the United States Capitol, an honor reserved for the most esteemed American military heroes and statesmen. A resolution approved unanimously today by the Illinois Senate seeks to extend that privilege to the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from World War II as a tribute to all 16 million Americans, often referred to as the “Greatest Generation,” who served in our Armed Forces from 1939 to 1945.

Senate Joint Resolution 50, sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), would urge President Trump and the United States Congress to take all necessary measures to ensure the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from World War II be offered a state funeral, including, but not limited to, the option to lie in state in the rotunda of the United States Capitol.

“An understanding of the Greatest Generation’s immeasurable sacrifice is something that all Americans share, and it’s something that has the power to unify Americans in a way that transcends our current divisions,” Manar said. “It would block out the political noise of the day and bring us together in reverence of the intrepid Americans who fought and died to ensure that the United States remains a beacon of hope and a blueprint for democracy across the globe.”

The President of the United States has the sole authority to designate a state funeral, while Congress reserves the authority to allow an individual to have their remains lie in state in the rotunda of the United States Capitol.

Of the 353 Americans who have been awarded the Medal of Honor for their acts of heroism during World War II, only two are alive today: Charles H. Coolidge of Tennessee and Woodrow Williams of West Virginia.

The Medal of Honor, presented by the President of the United States in the name of Congress, is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is conferred upon members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through acts of heroism at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged against an enemy of the United States.

SJR 50 will now move to the Illinois House for consideration.

SPRINGFIELD – With Gov. Pritzker’s signature, pharmaceutical companies would have a harder time lining their pockets on the backs of Illinoisans with diabetes.

The General Assembly today approved Senate Bill 667, sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), which would cap co-payments for insulin at $100 per month for all patients regardless of the supply they require. The cap would only apply to commercial insurance plans regulated by the state.

“Thanks to countless grassroots advocates and the brave individuals who stepped up and shared their testimonies, the Illinois General Assembly just sent a clear message that our state will no longer allow pharmaceutical companies to take advantage of Illinoisans living with diabetes by charging exorbitant prices for lifesaving insulin medication,” Manar said.

SB 667 also requires the Department of Insurance, in conjunction with the Department of Human Services and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, to issue an "insulin pricing report" to the public that details findings on insulin pricing practices and recommendations to control and prevent overpricing of prescription insulin drugs.

“The votes in the House and Senate are proof that through grassroots action, you can effectuate positive change in state government against pharmaceutical companies, PBM’s, and insurance companies that have armies of lobbyists in this building watching out for their profits,” Manar said. “When ordinary people speak up and demand change, we can make it happen.”

The price of insulin has drastically increased in the United States in the past several years. According to a 2016 analysis, the price of the drug tripled between 2002 and 2013.

1.3 million Illinoisans are living with diabetes and rely on insulin to manage their blood sugar levels. Price increases have left many of them struggling to pay for the drug and at risk of deadly consequences.

According to a study by the Yale School of Medicine, 1 in 4 patients with diabetes are forced to ration their insulin due to soaring costs.

The measure will make Illinois the second state in the country to cap insulin payments.

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SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate today approved legislation sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) aimed at making daylight saving time the year-round standard in Illinois.

The inspiration for Senate Bill 533 came from a group of students from Carlinville High School, who presented the idea to Senator Manar as part of a civics class project.

“It was a well-thought out proposal that I felt deserved consideration in Springfield. Given the loss of productivity caused by the arbitrary daylight saving time change, and the various health and safety concerns that are supported by research, this proposal makes a lot of sense,” Manar said. “What’s most important is that this group is an example of how young people can step up and engage their elected officials to enact changes they want to see in government.”

In May, the students – Andrew DeNeve, Tyler Behme, Travis Osborn, Tristen Burns and Tucker Green – presented their research before the Senate State Government Committee, which approved SB 533 unanimously.

When daylight saving time is in effect, the sun rises and sets one hour later than it normally would. Business interests have long supported the practice of moving clocks ahead by an hour because consumers are more likely to shop before the sun sets.

Research has shown that switching back to standard time in the fall is associated with a spike of diagnoses of depression and a modest increase in heart attacks.

A 2015 report published in the Review of Economics and Statistics found that extra daylight in the evening after the switch to daylight saving time led to a drop in crime that was not offset by increased crime during the darker morning hours.

Because time is regulated by federal law under the Uniform Time Act of 1966, one of two scenarios must take place in order for daylight saving time to become the permanent standard if SB 533 is passed into law:

  • Federal legislation must be passed to exempt Illinois from the Uniform Time Act of 1966 in a way similar to Arizona and Hawaii; or
  • Federal legislation must be passed to repeal or amend the Uniform Time Act of 1966 to make daylight saving time the year-round standard nationwide.

More than 35 states introduced legislation in 2019 to do away with seasonal time changes by eliminating or standardizing daylight saving time.

SB 533 will now move to the House for consideration.

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SPRINGFIELD – Throughout American history, only 32 individuals have lain in state in the rotunda of the United States Capitol, an honor reserved for the most esteemed American military heroes and statesmen. State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) wants to extend that privilege to the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from World War II as a tribute to all 16 million Americans, often referred to as the “Greatest Generation,” who served in our Armed Forces from 1939 to 1945.

Senate Joint Resolution 50 would urge the President and the United States Congress to take all necessary measures to ensure the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from World War II be offered a state funeral, including, but not limited to, the option to lie in state in the rotunda of the United States Capitol.

“An understanding of the Greatest Generation’s immeasurable sacrifice is something that all Americans share, and it’s something that has the power to unify Americans in a way that transcends our current divisions,” Manar said. “It would block out the political noise of the day and bring us together in reverence of the intrepid Americans who fought and died to ensure that the United States remains a beacon of hope and a blueprint for democracy across the globe.”

The President of the United States has the sole authority to designate a state funeral, while Congress reserves the authority to allow an individual to have their remains lie in state in the rotunda of the United States Capitol.

Of the 353 Americans who have been awarded the Medal of Honor for their acts of heroism during World War II, only two are alive today: Charles H. Coolidge of Tennessee and Woodrow Williams of West Virginia.

The Medal of Honor, presented by the President of the United States in the name of Congress, is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is conferred upon members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through acts of heroism at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged against an enemy of the United States.

The Senate State Government Committee will vote on SJR 50 on Wednesday, Nov. 13.

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