05012019CM1100

SPRINGFIELD – In response to ongoing federal investigations surrounding Illinois government, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) is calling on the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform to consider including in their final report sweeping measures that would overhaul ethics laws in Illinois.

Manar has spent his career in Springfield advocating for stronger ethics laws, sponsoring a 2017 piece of legislation that closed loopholes allowing Cabinet-level appointees of the Illinois governor to use official positions to campaign for candidates. Additionally, he was a Senate sponsor on a 2019 piece of legislation that created the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform.

“What’s being proposed is long overdue,” Manar said. “The last several years have made it clear that there are glaring blind spots in our ethics laws. Transparency and accountability are two principles that I believe are fundamental to a functioning government, and it’s time that we act.”

Among the measures Manar is encouraging the Joint Commission to consider:

  • Establishing term limits on legislative leadership;
  • Enacting a policy to temporarily remove a legislator as a leader and/or committee chair during a criminal investigation or in the event of a charge/indictment;
  • Prohibiting legislators from lobbying elected officials from other units of government;
  • Establishing at least a one-year prohibition on legislators leaving their offices and working as lobbyists;
  • Expanding disclosure of legislators’ outside income; and
  • Enabling the Legislative Inspector General to self-initiate investigations and making it an independent agency for the purposes of budgets and hiring.

These measures are supported by a broad coalition of lawmakers and advocacy groups, including Change Illinois and Reform for Illinois.

“This is a list of very simple things that I believe could receive broad support from both Democrats and Republicans and at the same time would have a profound impact on restoring trust in state government,” Manar said.

The Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform continues to meet prior to its expected issuance of a final report of recommendations.

Category: Latest News

04102019CW0176

SPRINGFIELD – More than 40 local businesses will see additional aid via funding from the state’s Business Interruption Grant program to help business owners facing economic hardship, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) announced Thursday.

The first round of distribution through the BIG program was released this week to provide financial assistance to business communities hit hardest by COVID-19 related closures.

A total of $790,000 will be distributed to local businesses throughout the 48th District through the program, which Manar prioritized during last spring’s budget negotiations.

“The Business Interruption Grant program is an example of what is possible when legislators do their job and create tangible solutions to the problems facing our state,” Manar said. “Government is supposed to work for those we represent first and foremost, and I’m proud that we are doing everything possible at the state level to help our small business community stay afloat.”

Funding will be dispersed as such:

  • Decatur: $270,000
  • Springfield: $220,000
  • Carlinville: $70,000
  • Staunton: $40,000
  • Assumption, Gillespie, and Litchfield: $30,000
  • Brighton, Hillsboro, Mount Olive, Taylorville, and Williamson: $20,000

The full list of 48th District businesses that have received grant money can be found here: https://rb.gy/p62c2f

Category: Latest News

05282019CM0186

SPRINGFIELD – Local governments will reap the benefits of a $250 million grant program that provides the opportunity to invest in long-overdue support for local road and street repair, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) announced Wednesday.

“For far too long local governments have been forced to rely on patchwork projects to maintain outdated infrastructure,” Manar said. “Local governments know what work needs to be done in their communities better than anyone, and I am pleased they have been given increased funding to address critical needs.”

This announcement is the second in a series of six investments in local infrastructure being made through the bipartisan $33.2 billion Rebuild Illinois capital plan, which Manar played an instrumental role in negotiating.

Funds will be distributed throughout the 48th District as such:

  • Counties: $2,538,175.15

  • Townships: $2,762,405.27

  • Cities & Villages: $3,724,483.99

Projects eligible for this grant program include road and bridge improvements, repaving, traffic signal upgrades, new storm sewers, bike paths, sidewalk replacements and pothole repairs. Projects will be selected and managed locally in cooperation with IDOT.

“Roads left unkept for too long can have devastating consequences for a community,” Manar said. “The projects resulting from this grant program will allow folks to travel throughout their community safely and they will create sorely needed jobs as we continue to navigate the crisis of the current moment together.”

A full breakdown of the grant money coming to the 48th District broken down by County, Township, and Municipality can be found here: https://bit.ly/3a0cYaz

Category: Latest News

5efccf7c5c4fb.previewSPRINGFIELD - Farmers and their families have the opportunity to complete a survey aimed to improve a wide range of services that will be available to them from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine’s Farm Family Resource Initiative program in the coming months.

Manar, who chairs the Illinois Senate Appropriations II Committee, worked closely with fellow Downstate Democrats to include funding in this year’s state budget to address many of today’s challenges facing Illinois farmers.

“Farmers and farm families are the lifeblood of our state’s economy, and they face unique challenges,” State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said. “By prioritizing programs like the Farm Family Resource Initiative through a trusted partner like Southern Illinois University, we have the ability to reach out with support during this immensely difficult period.”

The goal of the survey is to improve the resources that will be available from the start of this program and to develop additional resources to best serve Illinois farmers. Once launched, the FFRI hotline will serve as a hub where callers can seek assistance with issues ranging from financial troubles to mental health concerns.

Manar is encouraging area farm families to access the survey online.

“Completing this survey gives the people who are implementing this program a clearer picture of what they ought to be working to deliver,” Manar said. “Farm families’ direct input is invaluable.”

SIU School of Medicine is specifically looking for farmers and members of farm families in Christian, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Morgan, and Sangamon Counties to complete the survey at www.siumed.edu/farm.

Category: Latest News

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