SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) joined other downstate lawmakers in signing on as a co-sponsor to the Family and Personal Protection Act, Senate Bill 1284 – a bill that would allow licensed residents to carry a handgun on them or in their vehicle.

Both Democratic and Republican senators have joined together to help push for the passage of SB 1284.  

Illinois is the only state that does not have some form of concealed carry. However, that is subject to change following the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in December that the state’s ban on carrying a weapon in public is unconstitutional and gave lawmakers 180 days to pass a concealed-carry bill.

Read more: Senator Manar co-sponsors concealed-carry legislation

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) voted against granting Gov. Quinn an extension on the state-mandated deadline to submit a fiscal year 2014 budget. This is the fourth time in as many years that the governor has requested more time to submit the spending plan to the General Assembly.

“By yet again extending the date in which the governor is responsible for submitting his budget proposal to the Legislature, Quinn is sending the message that we aren’t serious about addressing the state’s budget concerns. That’s the wrong message to send taxpayers who expect us to begin solving fiscal problems,” Manar said.  

In years past, Quinn has cited various reasons for a needing an extension, including changes in his budget staff, dealing with Blagojevich’s impeachment and refocusing after a contested primary.

Read more: Manar votes to deny Quinn extension on budget address

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) will host a coffee meet and greet this Saturday, February 23, from 8:00am – 9:00am at Boyd’s restaurant in Springfield. The meet and greet will be an opportunity for residents to hear about specific bills Manar is working on as well as an opportunity to ask questions or voice concerns about legislation. The event is open to the public.

What: Coffee Meet and Greet with Senator Manar
Who: Event is open to the public
When: Saturday, February 23, from 8:00am – 9:00am
Where: Boyd’s restaurant – 1831 South Grand Ave East, Springfield

SPRINGFIELD – Following through on a commitment made last fall, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) filed the required paperwork to forgo participation in the General Assembly Retirement system.

“That was not an empty promise I made. It was a commitment that showed I am serious about solving our state’s budget issues,” Manar said. “We cannot focus on helping other core state services like education, health care and public safety without addressing our state’s pension issue in a balanced way.”

The state's annual pension fund payment is expected to increase by about $1 billion, to nearly $7 billion, in the next fiscal year. That's more than 16 percent of the state's general funds budget, up from 6 percent in 2008.

Manar also voluntarily chose not participate in the Illinois Municipal Retirement System while serving as the county board chairman in Macoupin County and mayor of Bunker Hill.

“It’s about being consistent. We faced similar budget issues in Macoupin County. I chose not to participate in the Illinois Municipal Retirement System because I was committed to getting the county’s fiscal house in order. ”

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