Illinois State Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) has been named a senior advisor to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, resigning the Senate seat he has held for eight years fighting for Illinois’s working families. A panel of Democratic county leaders will elect a successor to fill out his term for the next two years.
In the Senate, Manar has been known for crafting legislation to keep schools funded and for his support of public and private sector Labor unions and their members.
His legislative successes also include passage of automatic voter registration, a higher minimum wage for teachers, eliminating police ticket quotas, capping the cost of insulin at $100 a month and regulating pharmacy benefit managers. He has supported unions, voting rights, affordable health care and teachers and the LGBTQ community.
In last year’s legislative session, Manar was a leader in passage of the Rebuild Illinois capital bill, which will create thousands of hours of infrastructure improvement work for union construction workers. He also sponsored bills revoking Rauner’s cut in teacher retirement funding and providing a long-overdue increase in the minimum wage for teachers.
He also helped secure funding for parks, libraries, schools, roads and workforce programs such as the South Central Illinois Regional Workforce Training & Innovation Center in Litchfield. He also is credited with creating the Critical Access Pharmacy program that helps rural communities keep their local pharmacies.
“I will cherish the friendships I forged as we accomplished meaningful change together over the past eight years,” Manar said. “While serving communities with people from all walks of life was often challenging, it brought me great joy to see firsthand what unites us and to then bring that perspective to Springfield to take on big issues. I’m proud to say we did that together and along the way improved life for everyone in this state.”
PRAISE FROM PRITZKER
“Andy has been one of the most thoughtful and successful lawmakers of his generation, and he will be a trusted advisor,” Pritzker said in a statement announcing Manar’s new post.
“Andy has done so much to improve the lives of working families,” the governor said. “He led the effort to reform the state’s antiquated education funding formula, made insulin cheaper for the millions who depend on it, led efforts to reform election laws and oversaw the appropriations committee during truly challenging times.”
Pritzker said Manar will work with him on his agenda and key priorities including downstate economic revitalization and COVID-19 recovery efforts.