As your first-year State Representative, I’d like to highlight some things I have brought before the General Assembly, and to my constituents, in order to make our state government more efficient, and also keep the lines of communication open during the budget impasse.

Ideas for Illinois

This past month I was happy to initiate my new think-tank “Ideas for Illinois.” At www.ideasforillinois.com, I have asked any constituents with cost-saving measures for the state to submit them for potential delivery to the House Floor in the form of legislation. There are many ideas I know we could initiate, and as I have presented many myself this year, I would also love to hear yours. No idea is too big or too small. With this idea I hope to bring everyone’s idea to the table, and allow them to be heard as they should. The State of Illinois is not in a position to continue to allow your tax dollars to not be spent as efficiently as possible, and I’d like to give you a voice in how the state can better do this.

Constitutional Pension Proposal

With our state facing so many fiscal challenges, it is important to remember that many of our challenges are inter-connected.  A failed policy decision in one area often leads to other negative results in another area.  For example, skipping pension payments in the past has led to a higher percentage of our current budget being used to “catch up.”  It also has contributed to lowering our credit rating which means more money is needed for interest payments on loans.  This crowds out funding for basic government operations. 

On the flip side, reducing our unfunded pension liabilities would have the opposite effect in the long term.  Returning our pension funds to appropriate balances and increasing our credit rating would save the state billions.  We have to start taking a series of small steps that have long term benefits and lead to additional savings.  My pension reform proposal is a significant step in positive direction and would have a multiplier effect moving forward. Please check out my proposal, which I was happy to see mentioned in a recent edition of Crain’s Chicago Business.
 

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(A Note from State Rep. Mark Batinick)

Recently it has been my privilege to work with Nora Campos, a constituent who has been driven to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer after watching it take her husband's honorable life. Together we drafted House Resolution 838, which recognized November 13 as World Pancreatic Cancer Day in the State of Illinois. It was quickly adopted in the Illinois House this week. Please consider wearing purple on November 13 in support of pancreatic cancer awareness. 39 municipalities have agreed to display purple at their own local landmarks. Nora if you're reading this, congratulations for all your efforts in your husband's memory, and thank you for allowing me to be a part of your work. Here's to a purple sky on Friday.

 
Nora Campos and Rep. Batinick with House Resolution 838

(Nora Campos' Story)

I asked Representative Batinick to sponsor a House Resolution stating that Friday November 13th is recognized as World Pancreatic Cancer Day in the State of Illinois.
Pancreatic cancer came into my home 6 years ago. My husband was 44, he was an athlete, he was a U.S. Marine and yet, he never stood a chance. Somewhere in the time he was ill, I made a vow to fix this. I have to. As a mother and as a grandmother, I have to. So I have joined the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network as a volunteer and am dedicated to advancing research, supporting patients and creating hope.
PLAINFIELD – State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) was excited to further join AT&T in their local community investment by serving a $1,000 donation to the philanthropic Shorewood Lions Club. The local Lions Club prides itself on community prosperity. It has many initiatives to help students and seniors, including transportation to health exams and programs that offer more affordable health products such as glasses and hearing aids. Its family-oriented initiatives also involve Halloween costume contests, and coming in January a spaghetti dinner for any and all to attend to help fundraise more community benefits.

Rep. Batinick stated, “I enjoy staying involved with the communities I serve, and I’m delighted to offer this donation to a group that remains constantly on the pulse of the Shorewood area. I’d like to encourage everyone to consider joining their local Lions Club in order to serve their neighbors and keep our communities great.”

Lion Noelle Viola said, “We are always thrilled to have new members, of any age. I invite any interested people to check out our Facebook page at Shorewood Lions Club, and get involved in any way they can. Our group meets at the Joliet Elks Club on the second Wednesday of every Month. Our next meeting is November 11 at 6:30PM. Please come see what we offer our neighbors, and consider getting involved.”

For further information about the Shorewood Lions Club please go to their Facebook page, or email them at shorewoodlionsclub@gmail.com, or call (815) 690-2082.