High speed rail confrenceSPRINGFIELD- As Illinois and the city of Springfield prepare for high-speed rail, a local advocacy group is championing legislation to ensure more transparency and accountability throughout the process.

The Faith Coalition for the Common Good, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and Rep. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur) announced a proposal to create the Springfield High-Speed Rail Oversight Commission during a press conference Thursday.

“Despite our best efforts, local decision makers have not kept the promises they made when they signed our rail community benefits agreement. Minority workforce hours have not been made public and the community affected by rail relocation has been left out of the decision making process,” Leroy Jordan, Faith Coalition for the Common Good Rail Task Force Leader, said.

Read more: High-speed rail oversight commission

Manar swearing inRSPRINGFIELD – Recently elected state lawmakers took their oaths of office during inauguration ceremonies in Springfield this month. State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) returned to the Illinois Senate after serving his first two-year term.

“I’m excited. We accomplished a lot over the last two years but there’s still so much more work to be done,” Manar said.

Manar plans to reintroduce a proposal reforming Illinois’ outdated school funding system—an update of the legislation that passed the Senate last year.

Read more: Manar returns for second term

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Bruce Rauner took office after a swearing-in ceremony Monday as outgoing Governor Pat Quinn left office.

“I look forward to working with Governor Rauner and his administration. This will be an interesting, exciting time at the Capitol that will yield a new wave of bipartisanship,” State Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said.

“Governor Quinn has been a dedicated public servant and I wish him the best,” Manar said.

Manar and other recently elected members of the General Assembly will be sworn in on Wednesday.

Manar HB2267 Senate FloorrRSPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate approved legislation Thursday establishing guidelines to deal with vacancies for statewide offices. This legislation creates a special election letting voters select a new comptroller to finish the term Judy Baar Topinka would have held until 2019.

State Senator Andy Manar (D–Bunker Hill) supported the proposal.

“This is a unique situation where an official could serve a four-year term without being elected. Letting voters pick our comptroller during a special election is the most sensible option,” Manar said.

Read more: Manar supports comptroller special election


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