State Senator Andy Manar (D - Bunker Hill) is in his first term serving the 48th District. It stretches from Springfield and Decatur south into Madison County.
Before he was elected, Manar spent time as Chief of Staff to Senate President John Cullerton and served as Chairman of the Macoupin County Board.
Manar sat down with WUIS' Sean Crawford to talk about some of the issues facing state government, including public pensions, tax incentives for ADM, education funding and how he was considered as a possible running mate to former gubernatorial candidate Bill Daley:
Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner has selected Wheaton City Council member Evelyn Sanguinetti as his running mate. The businessman announced his choice Tuesday morning in a statement. Sanguinetti is a lawyer who was once an assistant attorney general in Illinois. She's the daughter of immigrants and was born in Florida. Rauner is the last 2014 Republican candidate in the race to name a lieutenant governor pick.
Gov. Pat Quinn says if the federal government shutdown continues the state will have to lay off more workers whose paychecks come from federal funding.
Illinois has already issued nearly 100 such temporary layoffs. They include employees with the state Department of Military Affairs, economic analysts at the Illinois Department of Employment Security and employees with the Labor Department who handle workplace safety inspections.
The scandal that brought down former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich led to campaign-contribution caps in Illinois. Advocates of the limits are fearful a case set to be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday could upend their efforts.
The campaign finance law Illinois politicians passed in 2009 restricts how much cash companies, unions and people can give to individual candidates. Theoretically, you can give that maximum contribution to every state candidate in Illinois.
This week's topics include the rollout of the Affordable Care Act in Illinois, how the Federal Shutdown is affecting the state, and the debate over tax breaks for Archer Daniels Midland and other companies.
When lawmakers return to Springfield for their fall session later this month, they'll be weighing requests from several international companies that want tax breaks for keeping their headquarters in Illinois. But Gov. Pat Quinn is throwing cold water on that idea.
Most of the tax-credit attention has gone to agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland Company, which wants up to $24 million keep its global head office in Illinois. But lawmakers have also heard requests from Zurich Insurance, based in Schaumburg, and OfficeMax, based in Naperville, and there are others.
Gov. Pat Quinn says he will veto any legislation with special tax breaks to get Archer Daniels Midland Company to keep its global headquarters in Illinois until lawmakers address the state's pension crisis. In an interview with The Associated Press, Quinn says it's ``the wrong time'' to talk about tax incentives for any company. The Chicago Democrat says the best thing the Legislature can do to help ADM or other businesses is address Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension shortfall. He wants lawmakers to act when they meet later this month.
Senate President John Cullerton says any tax-incentive package to get Archer Daniels Midland Company to keep its headquarters in Illinois should include something to make up for the loss of jobs in Decatur.
ADM announced last week it was moving its global headquarters _ and 100 jobs _ out of Decatur. The company is asking the state for $20 million in tax breaks to keep its headquarters in Illinois. Chicago officials have said the city is in the running.
The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports (http://bit.ly/156Z8gp )
The president of the Illinois Senate says he's backing a compromise pension reform plan that could save $138 billion by 2043. Chicago Democrat John Cullerton tells The (Springfield) State Journal-Register (http://bit.ly/1btBYG2 ) that he's working to build support for the still-unfinished proposal being developed by a pension reform committee. Cullerton hopes lawmakers can begin to act on the plan during the upcoming Oct. 22 veto session.
Lawmakers say an early prison release law doesn't need changing despite a mistake in which a parolee now charged with murder was not properly monitored.
Joshua A. Jones was set free in May five months early. He was charged with a Decatur murder three months later. Documents and Associated Press interviews show Jones was supposed to be electronically monitored but was not. State prison officials say an employee faces discipline.
Gov. Pat Quinn has asked the Illinois Supreme Court to hear his appeal of a ruling that his veto of money for lawmaker salaries was unconstitutional. Attorneys for Quinn filed a motion with the court Wednesday. They say the case deserves an ``expeditious and conclusive'' ruling by the state's highest court. Quinn vetoed money for paychecks in July because he was angry legislators hadn't addressed Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension crisis. House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton sued, saying his action was unconstitutional.
As Archer Daniels Midland plans to move its headquarters out of Decatur, state lawmakers are considering whether to award tax breaks to keep the agribusiness giant in Illinois.
At a legislative hearing in Chicago, representatives of ADM told lawmakers they wanted incentives worth $1.2 million a year for up to 20 years. In return, the company would keep its headquarters in Illinois, likely in Chicago.
One lawmakers says it's "essentially blackmailing the state."
The newest leader in state government says he doubts pension reform will become reality during the upcoming fall veto session. Republican House Minority Leader Jim Durkin says it's not right to vote for something that's close to ideal just because there is fatigue surrounding the issue.
"The issue needs to be done, but we need to do it right," Durkin said. "But I am not going to just wave the white flag out of expediency because people have been worn down or they're tired of the issue and want to get it off their plates."
The federal government shutdown means public servants across Illinois will be sent home today.
At times like these, National Parks are considered a luxury, so Springfield's Lincoln Home National Historic Site would be closed. But air traffic control and weather forecasting are considered critical, so they'd keep going.
Public safety jobs are supposed to be exempt, too. But U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis, the top federal prosecutor for Central Illinois, says he'll have to send a quarter of his attorneys home and a majority of the support staff.
A budget director for Gov. Pat Quinn says if the federal government shutdown proceeds, Illinois employees paid by federal funds could face temporary layoffs as early as Wednesday. The budget office had no estimates Monday for how many employees would be affected. Abdon Pallasch is Quinn's assistant budget director. In a statement, he says that the timing of the layoffs would depend on existing resources and individual agencies. Agencies that could be affected include Illinois Emergency Management Agency, Veterans Affairs and Military Affairs.
A former Illinois Department of Corrections accounting employee will serve 21 months in federal prison after admitting to embezzling more than $50,000 from a fund meant to benefit prison workers killed in the line of duty. U.S. District Judge Sue Myerscough sentenced 47-year-old Mary Ann Bohlen on Monday. Myerscough also ordered the Edinburg resident to pay nearly $24,000 to the Illinois Correctional Employees Memorial Association and $27,000 to the state corrections agency.
The Lincoln Home in Springfield would be closed if the federal government shuts down Monday night. The majority of National Park Service employees have been deemed non-essential, meaning they’d be sent home without pay.
The Illinois State Police continues to struggle with a backlog of applications for gun ownership. So it remains to be seen how they can handle an influx of requests for permits to carry concealed weapons.
The department has 49,000 applications for Firearm Owners Identification cards awaiting approval.
Attorneys for both sides are reacting to an Illinois judge's decision that a lawsuit challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage can continue.
Camilla Taylor is an attorney with Lambda Legal, representing 25 couples who filed for marriage licenses in Cook County and were denied. Taylor said after Friday's ruling in Chicago that it will be ``a very bad day for the defendants'' when the case is decided.
This week's topics include a court decision preventing Governor Quinn from blocking Illinois lawmakers' pay, the Illinois Democratic Party's official endorsement of Pat Quinn in the next gubernatorial race, and new reports indicating that conditions in the state's juvenile detention facilities are not improving.
An Illinois judge promises to rule on the future of a lawsuit seeking to legalize same-sex marriage in the state.
The lawsuit was filed last year by 25 gay and lesbian couples who want the right to marry.
Cook County Judge Sophia Hall is expected to rule Friday on a motion to dismiss the case.
Lawyers for five downstate county clerks who are defending the ban want the case tossed. Plaintiffs' attorneys want the judge to let the lawsuit stand - then rule immediately that they won the lawsuit and that the ban is illegal.
A judge says Governor Pat Quinn went too far this summer when he blocked paychecks for Illinois lawmakers.
Members of the General Assembly have missed two paydays so far, and it's not clear when they'll get their money. The governor stands by his actions, saying it's his best option for cajoling the General Assembly into overhauling the state's pension systems. Quinn says he plans to appeal.
It is approaching four months since the Illinois General Assembly adjourned its spring session. Lawmakers have missed two paychecks since the governor decided to punish them for not passing a pension overhaul. And a special committee has been negotiating over how to solve the pension problem for more than 12 weeks. Amanda Vinicky checks in with members of that committee for a progress report.