CAP paymentsSPRINGFIELD - To ensure the stability of small, independent pharmacies through the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois State Comptroller Susana Mendoza is releasing nearly $1 million to critical access pharmacies in rural and underserved communities.

The move comes one day after State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) penned a letter to Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Theresa Eagleson urging her office to expedite payments under the Critical Access Pharmacy Program as a way to help bolster rural pharmacies as they brace for the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic into their communities.

"For rural Illinois families, the nearest hospital can be miles away in a different community, meaning pharmacies are the only local source of health care and medical relief," Manar said. "As this pandemic spreads into rural Illinois communities, the importance of keeping small, local pharmacies stable cannot be overstated. Expediting CAP payments is a major help, and I appreciate the Pritzker administration’s swift action.”

The payments are being released under the Critical Access Pharmacy program for pharmacies that are determined by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to be located in medically underserved areas of the state. Manar, a leading advocate of the CAP program, negotiated its renewed funding in​ the state’s fiscal year 2019 budget to support independent pharmacies.

These supplemental state payments will assist small, independently owned pharmacies that have experienced serious financial difficulty because of lower rates offered under the state's managed care program and also because of rate cuts by pharmacy benefit managers.

"Locally owned pharmacies - often the only pharmacies available for miles in any direction - are vital to stopping the spread of the coronavirus in rural communities," Mendoza said. "It's more important than ever that we ensure these payments continue to go out so these small businesses can continue to be there for the people they serve."

This is the third disbursement to critical access pharmacies under the program. The comptroller released $4.7 million in payments on July 1 and $1.9 million on Dec. 10.

Category: Latest News

Manar Reed

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) welcomed Chatham Glenwood High School junior Fiona Reed to the Capitol on Wednesday as part of his Future Leaders program.

Fiona, 17, fosters kittens for the local Animal Protective League, and will be an Election Day registrar during the March 17 primaries. She’s also a member of the Chatham Glenwood High School Key Club, which provides community service and works to raise funds for organizations such as Children's Miracle Network, March of Dimes, UNICEF, Special Olympics and Thirst Project.

“As a junior in high school, she’s putting her values into action and sticking to them, which is the foundation of true leadership,” Manar said. “Given her strong sense of initiative and demonstrated commitment to community service, we can all learn a thing or two from Fiona’s example.”

Manar conducted a one-on-one interview – a tradition of his Future Leaders program – about Fiona’s plans for her future and what prompted her sense of civic duty.

Fiona shadowed Manar for the day, joining him in committee meetings and on the Senate floor where she met other state lawmakers and observed them as they debated and voted on legislation. Manar also presented her with a certificate of recognition for her exemplary service to the Springfield and Chatham communities.

Category: Latest News

More than 250 new state laws will go into effect on Jan 1.

To help you find out how they may affect your daily life, the Illinois Senate Democrats Communications team recently put together a list of the more interesting laws taking effect in 2020! Click the image above to see what's in store.

Category: Latest News

maconplotSPRINGFIELD – Federally insured local farmers who utilize cover crops are now eligible to receive a discounted crop insurance rate under a new program advocated by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill).

The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) Wednesday announced its cover crop discount program for acreage in Illinois planted to cover crops in the fall of 2019 that will be planted to an insurable crop in 2020. The program will allow eligible applicants to receive a $5-per-acre premium discount on the following year’s crop insurance invoice for every acre of cover crop enrolled and verified in the program.

The program was an initiative of State Senators Andy Manar and Scott Bennett (D-Champaign).

“Farmers who utilize cover crops are making an investment in the overall quality of our soil, food and water, as well as their own future yields,” Manar said. “This program will help expand the ecological benefits of cover crops while supporting our local farmers’ bottom lines. Prioritizing these best practices is why Illinois remains at the forefront of agricultural production and quality.”

“Cover crops are an important part of preserving agriculture,” Bennett said. “As Senate Agriculture chair, I am encouraged by this program and that it represents another resource to farmers to help ensure the success of Illinois’ agriculture economy.”

The discount program was designed to promote additional acres of cover crops that are not covered by other state or federal incentives. IDOA will use a combination of tools to verify acres applied for through the pilot program are planted in cover crops. The program is only applicable for those with coverage through the United States Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency (USDA-RMA) crop insurance program. Confirmed applications will be forwarded to the USDA-RMA for processing and applying premium discounts to 2020 crop insurance invoices.

“Implementation of best management practices, such as cover crop application, continues to be a priority of the department,” said IDOA Director John Sullivan. “Adopters of cover cropping methods may have incurred additional risk and expenses and this program serves as an incentive for their work.”

Funding of eligible acreage will be on a first come, first serve basis capped at 50,000 acres. The closing date to apply for the premium discount is Jan. 15, 2020.

Category: Latest News

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Springfield Office:
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Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-0228

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