SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar is commending Illinois’ new governor for emphasizing the needs of downstate Illinois communities in his inaugural speech Monday.

“Central Illinois is filled with good people in great communities where there are real problems to be solved,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat who helped advise the governor’s transition team. “Gov. Pritzker’s words struck me as sincere, and I look forward to holding him to his promises to prioritize resources for central and southern Illinois.”

Rural, downstate Illinois communities would enjoy greater access to high-speed internet, more resources for public schools, road and bridge improvements, and help with job creation under priorities outlined by Pritzker.

During the speech, Pritzker emphasized the need for bipartisan cooperation in Springfield. He cited the cooperation of Taylorville residents who helped each other after a tornado ravaged the city in early December as evidence of what can be done when people work together.

He also emphasized investing in vocational training, community colleges and universities as an avenue for growing the economy.

“The people of downstate Illinois have been overlooked and neglected by the state’s leaders for years,” Manar said. “I’m thrilled the governor sees the same promise and resilience that I see in them.”

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