Sen. Andy Manar

A group of Illinois Democratic lawmakers want to cap insulin prices at $100 per month.

Rockford Public Schools

 

 

lllinois is in the grips of a severe teacher shortage, but late last week, Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed legislation to raise their wages. The bill would’ve ramped up the minimum salary to $40,000 by the year 2022. In a message explaining his veto, Rauner called that an “unfunded mandate.”

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner has boasted that fixing the woefully inequitable Illinois school-funding formula was his top accomplishment of the past year.

Flickr user Brent Hoard "ECU School of Education Class Room" (CC BY 2.0)

Lawmakers of both parties -- and even Gov. Bruce Rauner -- agree that Illinois doesn't fund schools in an equitable manner.

 

But a bill that would overhaul the way Illinois funds public schools passed a procedural hurdle Wednesday with bipartisan support.

 

Flickr user / alamosbasement "old school" (CC BY 2.0)

Democratic State Sen. Andy Manar of Bunker Hill is accusing Gov. Bruce Rauner of trying to kill his school-funding legislation.

  

He says the administration fed erroneous information to a Republican operative's website.

 

The story appears in the Kankakee Times, one of a dozen community news organs created by Dan Proft, who runs a political action committee supported by Rauner.

Democratic state Sen. Andy Manar says he will remain in the Illinois Senate rather than run for governor in 2018.

In an emailed statement Friday, the Bunker Hill resident says he plans to continue being "a strong voice for the citizens of Central Illinois" in the Legislature.

Manar was among several Democrats who said they were considering running against Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Among those who've announced they're running are state Sen. Daniel Biss, businessman Chris Kennedy and Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar.

Last summer, Governor Bruce Rauner asked 20 lawmakers and a handful of educators to change how Illinois funds public schools. That bipartisan commission produced a “framework,” but no actual legislation.

 

That is despite the group’s continual focus on a plan favored by Rauner.

 

An Illinois lawmaker who represents a large number of state employees is once again challenging Republican Governor Bruce Rauner to personally negotiate with AFSCME, the state’s largest government union.

The union members will vote this month on authorizing a strike. AFSCME and the Rauner Administration have failed to reach agreement on a new contract. 

Democratic state senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill says the governor needs to take steps to avoid a strike or a lockout.  

Susan Stephens/Roberta F / Creative Commons

Senate Democrats are taking another bite at the school funding apple.

Senator Andy Manar -- a Democrat from Bunker Hill -- has tried for years to get Illinois to send more money to poor districts.

Until now ... that has meant taking money from wealthier ones.

Manar's latest plan would still do that … but gradually. Next year, no district would lose state money.

Manar says his plan eliminates special deals, so all school funding is distributed fairly.

Flickr user Brent Hoard "ECU School of Education Class Room" (CC BY 2.0)

Senator Andy Manar has re-introduced a measure proposing to change the way schools are funded in Illinois. This time, it has new formulas and a request for more money. 

Like the version debated last session, which passed the Senate but stalled in the House, this formula would give more money to districts with low property values and high rates of poverty. 

Representative Sue Scherer, a Democrat from Decatur and a former teacher, talked about the inequity from personal experience.

New Illinois Law Bans Police Ticket Quotas

Jan 6, 2015
Flickr user woodleywonderworks / "police trooper writing a ticket" (CC BY 2.0)

Some police departments in Illinois could be issuing fewer tickets in the new year. 

A new state law went into effect that aims to get rid of ticket quotas.

Few police departments would ever admit to having a target number of tickets officers have to write each month. Even if there's no official policy in place, some police departments still follow a loose system.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

School superintendents in Illinois are getting a chance to weigh in on what could be a huge change in the state’s public school funding formula. 

Republicans Criticize "Rushed" School Funding Overhaul

Apr 11, 2014
State of Illinois

A proposal to overhaul the way Illinois schools get state funding is advancing in the state Senate. Republicans say the plan is being rushed through the General Assembly, and they are worried that Chicago schools will get an even bigger share of the money than they do now.

Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, has made it his mission to change the way schools are funded in Illinois. The freshman senator says it's long overdue because there's been no change in 17 years.

Changes to state law could make it easier for school districts to merge voluntarily. The bill signing comes on the heels of a consolidation in northwest Illinois.