ManarfloorrSPRINGFIELD – Illinois is changing its approach to economic development to better focus on creating and retaining jobs, tackling pockets of stagnant unemployment, and recruiting new businesses to relocate to and expand within the state, thanks to a comprehensive reform package sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar (D–Bunker Hill).

After months of negotiations and gathering input from business and community leaders from across the state through several Senate hearings, the Illinois Senate today passed Manar’s House Bill 1544, which requires the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity—the lead state agency responsible for economic development in the state—to develop a comprehensive, statewide economic development plan.

“When it comes to creating jobs and encouraging economic development, Illinois can and must do better,” Manar said. “We can start by reforming our current approach to require a strategic statewide plan. Having a plan will help focus state resources on where they are needed most, maximizing job creation and impact on our economy.”

Read more: Manar: Reform necessary to improve Illinois' economic development climate

Senator Manar

May 20, 2013

Dear Friends,


The month of May is always the busiest time at the state Capitol, and this year is no different. While we have accomplished a lot already, we still have several outstanding issues that need to be addressed.


Manar CYCA constant theme I hear while meeting with constituents is that reform is needed in state government. We all know that our state is currently facing tough challenges. But I believe the state can and will do a better job of tackling issues like stagnant unemployment, education funding disparity and government transparency. But it requires constant vigilance and assessment as well as a commitment to improving efficiency and responsiveness to taxpayers.


Throughout the spring legislative session, I have been committed to making common-sense reforms that are desperately needed in state government. Not all reforms are major overhauls, but smaller adjustments necessary to improving our state’s finances, encouraging job growth and increasing transparency.

Read more: Newsletter - May 20

Senator Manar

April 26, 2013

Dear Friends,


Much of the nation is slowly climbing out of recession, but too many parts of Illinois are still suffering from stagnant, high unemployment. At the same time, our state has no strategic plan for economic development and job creation.


I know we can do better. We can do more to create jobs, recruit new businesses, and help our current employers grow.


Manar Committee HearingThat’s why I’m working to reform our state’s approach to job creation and to give communities here in Central Illinois increased access to important economic development tools, which you can read more about in the sections below.


With the right tools and a strategic plan, I know we can create jobs, lower unemployment and keep Illinois a great place to work and do business.

Read more: Newsletter - April 26

Manar HeadshotrSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar (D – Bunker Hill) is cleaning up inconsistencies in the tax code that negatively impact Illinois’ coal industry. House Bill 2918 brings uniformity to the sales tax exemption on certain types of coal exploration equipment. This important exemption helps to encourage the growing industry of coal exploration in Illinois.   

“The Illinois coal industry is a tremendous economic engine for downstate Illinois,” said Manar. “We need to be encouraging industries like this one to grow and create jobs here in Illinois, not impeding them with irregularities in our tax code.”

When a long-standing sales tax exemption for coal and aggregate exploration equipment expired in 2003, specific pieces of equipment were no longer covered. The General Assembly renewed this exemption in 2012, but there were inconsistencies due to the gap in coverage. HB 2918 addresses the gap, applying the sales tax exemption retroactively but not at any additional expense to the state. The Department of Revenue will not issue refunds but will only eliminate any outstanding balances that resulted from this inconsistency.

Read more: Manar initiative to promote coal jobs

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