Rep. Mark Batinick
SPRINGFIELD– Moody’s Investors Service issued a report today on the State of Illinois’ failure to distribute the first payment of FY 2018 general state aid to school districts; estimating that credit ratings of 5-20 school districts will deteriorate within months if the funding delay persists.

State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) is calling on the General Assembly to quickly reconvene and pass legislation he filed Wednesday to fund elementary and secondary education at last year’s spending levels to allow all Illinois public schools to open on-time for the new school year and remain open.  Representative Batinick’s legislation, House Bill 4085, currently has five co-sponsors representing school districts throughout suburban and Downstate Illinois. 
Rep. Mark Batinick
SPRINGFIELD–State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) filed legislation today to fund elementary and secondary education at last year’s spending levels to ensure all Illinois public schools open on-time for the new school year, leaving for another day the fight over $571 million in new education spending contained in Senate Bill 1, legislation that was partially vetoed by the Governor but which the House of Representatives has yet to act upon.

Rep. Batinick’s legislation, House Bill 4085, was filed with the House Clerk today.

“Time is of the essence,” Rep. Batinick said. “Schoolchildren and teachers should not be used as pawns in a manufactured crisis over school funding. My bill, if allowed to be debated and voted on, would pass quickly with broad bipartisan support. No school district would lose funding. All sides in the school funding reform debate have agreed to a hold harmless that protects every school district by maintaining last year’s level of state aid. We should pass this bill now to ensure schools open on time and continue to work on addressing the inequities in our school funding system moving forward.”
SHOREWOOD–State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) in partnership with Troy Township will host a Women’s Self-Defense class for women and girls from 6:00pm – 9:00pm on Thursday, August 17 at the Troy Township Community Center, located at 25448 Seil Road in Shorewood.

The special class on Self-Defense, Distraction and Awareness Tactics helps women to stay safe at all times. The class is free and open to women and girls, suggested ages 10 and up.

“I hosted a series of women’s self-defense classes throughout our district last year, at which hundreds of local women and girls successfully participated,” Rep. Batinick said. “This class is a valuable resource for our wives, mothers, sisters, daughters and friends to learn how to keep themselves safe should their safety be threatened. We are excited to partner with Troy Township to offer this class to women in Shorewood.”

While participation in the class is free of charge, donations are welcome and will go to help Women at Risk, International (WAR, Int’l) for their fight against human trafficking, rehabilitating victims and giving a voice to the silent cries of the oppressed.

PLAINFIELD – State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) will host his third annual Senior Health Fair from 9:00 AM – Noon on Wednesday, July 19 at St. Mary Immaculate Parish’s Cana Hall, located at 15629 South Route 59 in Plainfield. The event is free and open to the public.

“Helping local seniors maintain a healthy and active lifestyle is among my most important priorities,” Rep. Batinick said. “I encourage you to visit our fair and take advantage of the many outstanding local programs and services available to seniors in our community.” 

40 different community organizations and state/local service providers who offer programs and resources for seniors are participating in the fair. Information covers a wide range of topics including health care, recreation, nutrition, caregiver needs, nursing home and long-term care, supportive living and much more. The State Treasurer’s office also will conduct I-Cash searches for seniors.  I-Cash is a lost assets search that the state may be holding for you.
SPRINGFIELD – With the Illinois General Assembly scheduled to return to Springfield on June 21 for a 10-day special session on June 21 to address the budget impasse, State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) is calling for the passage of a full two-year state budget to take 2018 gubernatorial politics out of the budget process and provide stability to Illinois for the next two years.

Back when the current impasse began in 2015, Representative Batinick filed bipartisan legislation, HR 796, urging the General Assembly to work toward a two-year budget. Batinick’s bill had five Republican and two Democrat co-sponsors, but was never allowed a vote.

“I’m glad that we’re going back to Springfield to finally discuss the budget, after we spent the majority of this year voting on frivolous bills on feral cats, naming roads, and labeling catfish on restaurant menus,” Rep. Batinick said. “We have to put our priorities in the right place. Right now, that means toning down the rhetoric and passing a state budget to end this destructive, unnecessary impasse. While we’re at it, we should embrace this opportunity to pass a two-year budget, to take the politics of the 2018 election out of the budget process altogether and provide much-needed stability to our state at this critical time.”

The Illinois House of Representatives is scheduled to return to Springfield for a 10-day special session to address the state budget starting on Wednesday, June 21.

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PLAINFIELD More than 90 local and regional employers covering a wide range of manufacturing, labor, health care, educational, retail, community services and more are set to participate in a free Jobs Fair hosted by State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) and State Representative David Welter (R-Morris) from 9:00am – 12:30pm on Friday, June 23 at Troy Middle School in Plainfield, located at 5800 Theodore Street. Admission to Jobs Fair is free and open to the public.

The Jobs Fair features employers that are looking to hire right now. Job seekers are encouraged to bring plenty of resumes.
Fun for the Whole Family – Children’s Health & Safety Expo on June 17!
Please join us for the annual Children’s Health & Safety Expo at Plainfield Central High School, to be held from 9:00am – 12:30pm on Saturday, June 17. The annual event features the popular Traveling World of Reptiles Show and a Touch-A-Truck exhibit with over 25 vehicles for the kids to see, touch and sit in.

Admission to the event is FREE with complimentary refreshments and giveaways also provided. Information will be available on topics such as bicycle safety, after-school activities, nutrition and diabetes prevention; to name just a few. Free facepainting will also be available.
To see the event flyer with the full list of participants, please click HERE.

Looking for a Job? Attend our Jobs Fair on June 23
Are you or someone you know unemployed or under-employed? I am partnering with State Rep. David Welter to offer a FREE Jobs Fair to be held from 9:00am – 12:30pm on Friday, June 23 at Troy Middle School, located at 5800 Theodore Street in Plainfield. The Jobs Fair includes over 60 local and regional employers who are looking to hire right now. To see the event flyer with the full list of participants, please click HERE.

Free workshops are also being offered, including:
  •  How to Navigate through the State of Illinois Hiring Process (9:30am – 10:15am)
  •  Illinois Job Link (10:30am – 11:15am)
  • How to Use LinkedIn to Get a Job (11:30am – 12:15pm)
Admission to the Jobs Fair is FREE with complimentary refreshments also provided.
PLAINFIELDOver 50 area vendors covering a wide range of educational, health and child care, recreational and community services will participate in State Rep. Mark Batinick’s Children’s Safety Expo to be held from 9:00am – 12:30pm on Saturday, June 17 at Plainfield Central High School, located at 24120 Fort Beggs Drive. The annual event features the popular Traveling World of Reptiles Show and a Touch-A-Truck exhibit with over 25 vehicles for the kids to see, touch and sit in.

Admission to the event is FREE with complimentary refreshments and giveaways also provided. Information will be available on topics such as bicycle safety, after-school activities, nutrition and diabetes prevention; to name just a few. Free facepainting will also be available.

“I am very excited to host an event that connects kids and families to the tremendous local resources and activities available throughout our area,” Rep. Batinick said. “This Fair will be interactive, fun and informational for families of all ages.” Event details are as follows:

Rep. Mark Batinick’s Children’s Health & Safety Expo 2017
DATE: Saturday, June 17
TIME: 9:00am – 12:30pm
LOCATION: Plainfield Central High School Gym
ADDRESS: 24120 Fort Beggs Dr., Plainfield, IL (just west of Route 59)

Demonstrations will include the Thrive Dance Team (9:00am); Martial Arts of America (9:30am); Traveling World of Reptiles Show (10:00am); Gymquest/Dancequest of Plainfield (11:30am); Illinois State Police K-9 (Noon); and a drawing for Giveaways (12:30pm).


Will County Gazette 

Rep. Mark Batinick
Rep. Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) fears House Speaker Mike Madigan has created such a tax-induced whirlpool in Illinois that people and businesses must either escape or get sucked into its abyss.

“Businesses are leaving, jobs creators are leaving, young people are leaving, and they are the big taxpayers of tomorrow,” Batinick told the Will County Gazette of the effect of the state's high property taxes…
Anyone following the Illinois budget impasse knows that our pile of unpaid bills is growing; up to $12.9 Billion and counting.  This creates added pressure on the state because those bills will eventually have to be paid.  In the meantime, we are paying 12% interest on many of those bills.  That's a big amount.  We are literally incurring hundreds of millions of dollars of late payment penalties.  That is money that doesn't help balance the budget, fund social services, higher ed, or any of the other things state government does.  There is a way to pay off most of our debt, eliminate late fees, and significantly increase state revenue all without raising taxes.  Here's how:

First let me be clear – I don't like debt.  I don't support unnecessarily increasing it.  Yet all debt is not the same.  If you have it, it needs to be managed the best way feasible.  Right now Illinois has a lot of it.  Some of it needs to be consolidated.  That consolidation can free up a lot of money.

Our unpaid bills are essentially debt.  We also have other debt taken out during the Blagojevich regime and during the last capitol bill.  Some of that debt is about to be paid off.  Our bond payments drop from $2.418 Billion in FY 2018 to $2.091 Billion in FY19 then $1.536 Billion in FY 2020.  If the difference of those debt payments (roughly $1.5 Billion) was essentially consolidated on a 10 year note with the bulk of the unpaid bills we can essentially use the same line item to make the new consolidated loan payment.  Because the debt can't be called early, the logistics would be slightly different, but the effect would be the same.  Use the line item for the old debt in 2018 to make the new consolidated loan payment.

Paying off our unpaid bills helps close the budget shortfall in many ways.  First, we will stop paying hundreds of millions in late fees.  Second, injecting nearly $10B into the economy paying money we owe to vendors and medical providers in the state will have a massive effect on revenues.  All of the people and companies will now see gains that have been deferred.  Income tax revenue should also increase by hundreds of millions.  Third, much of the money we owe is for Medicaid payments.  Those Medicaid payments come with a federal match.  Our federal source of revenue could increase by as much as $1.5 Billion!

Now there are a couple of things that should be done before bonding out our back bills.  First, we need to balance the rest of the budget.  Freeing up $2B helps significantly, but there is still more work to be done.  Plus, having a true balanced budget plan also should help us get a better rate on any bonds we do get.  Second, we need to place a constitutional amendment referendum on the 2018 General Election ballot strengthening the balanced budget clause. Illinois voters should be given the opportunity to hold legislators accountable to follow the state constitution and pass a balanced budget every year so this never happens again.

It's far beyond time to act.
Rep. Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield)
SPRINGFIELD – With the Illinois General Assembly scheduled to return to session today amidst a crippling 22-month long state budget impasse, State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) has announced he will not be supporting any non-essential legislation until a state budget is brought to the House Floor for debate and a vote.

Representative Batinick identified four categories of essential legislation that he will continue to vote on. Those categories include: any budget-related bills, legislation that would make state government more efficient, legislation that has the ability to produce private-sector job growth; and any bills which impact immediate public safety concerns.

“We have to put our priorities in the right place,” Rep. Batinick said. “Right now, that means passing a state budget and ending this destructive, unnecessary impasse. I may be only one legislator, but I can do my part and set an example by personally refusing to participate in wasting the legislature’s time by not supporting any bills that are non-essential or distract from the most important thing we should be doing right now, which is to pass a budget.”
Rep. Mark Batinick
By Cole Lauterbach
Illinois News Network

SPRINGFIELD — In the wake of a publicly funded Illinois university trying to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a graduation speaker in the midst of a fiscal crisis, a state lawmaker is reintroducing a bill that would ban the practice. 

Northeastern Illinois University's board was shocked last week to hear that the school had signed a contract to pay former Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett $30,000 to give a commencement speech. Interim President Richard Helldobler said the school doesn't have to get board permission to make purchases below $50,000…

The school is heavily reliant on state funds and the ongoing budget battle in Springfield is holding up appropriations. To save money, the school cancelled classes on April 11 and 12 and plans to do so again one day in May.

State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, says this is exactly why taxpayer-funded schools shouldn't be allowed to pay commencement speakers. He is filing a bill that would ban the practice in Illinois.

"It certainly isn't the best use of public funds at a time when the university's laying off workers and furloughing people," he said. "And if you expect to get paid for that sort of speech, you don't deserve to give that sort of speech…"
By Mark Batinick
State Representative, 97th District

As consumers, when we walk into a store we have many options, not only in the products we choose but in the brands of those products. As taxpayers, we rarely get that option. As a state, Illinois spends 3.7 times the national average on our non-Medicaid clients, but we have one of the largest numbers of low-need individuals in costly nursing homes[i]. Spending more money hasn’t resulted in better services or better quality of life for the people that need them.

The Illinois Department on Aging has developed a new program that will improve the way Illinois serves seniors not eligible for Medicaid while saving the state money. The Community Reinvestment Program allows the state to maintain funding at 2 times the national average for seniors not eligible for Medicaid while addressing the projected 57 percent increase in our aging population.
Rep. Mark Batinick
SPRINGFIELD – In response to the recent court ruling authorizing the prioritization of state legislators’ pay over other outstanding obligations, State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) filed legislation today, House Bill 4026, to give the Comptroller greater discretion when issuing salary payments for members of the General Assembly. Batinick said this would allow the Comptroller to prioritize Illinois’ other fiscal obligations over legislators’ and Executive Branch officers’ pay. House Bill 4026 is co-sponsored by Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee). The bill follows the introduction of similar legislation filed in the State Senate by Senator Dan McConchie, SB 989.

“There is no reason why we as legislators should be prioritized over the hundreds of vendors, social service providers and agencies who have been waiting months for payment from the state,” said Rep. Batinick. “This bill seeks to right that wrong by allowing the Comptroller to place the interests of vulnerable children, seniors and families ahead of legislators.”
Several dozen local residents attended Rep. Batinick's Identity Theft & Safe Shopping Seminar at the Troy Township Community Center in Shorewood, presented by the Illinois Attorney General's Office. If you were unable to attend the seminar but are interested in learning more about how to protect yourself from identity theft, please call Rep. Batinick's office at (815) 254-0000 or the Attorney General's toll-free Identity Theft Hotline at 1-866-999-5630. For more information, please visit www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/hotline.html.

State Representatives Mark Batinick & David Welter will be hosting a Free Jobs Fair from 9 a.m. to 12:30p.m. on June 23rd at Troy Middle School 5800 Theodore Road in Plainfield.
This week, the Illinois House of Representatives heard a bill (HB 695) to spend an estimated $1.5 million to translate the Illinois General Assembly website into Spanish. I got up to speak and demonstrate to my colleagues how we can already provide this service to our constituents for FREE, not only in Spanish, but in up to 57 different languages. Please read the news article HERE to get the full story and watch my remarks below.

Rep. Batinick speaks at Capitol press
conference on property tax relief
SPRINGFIELD – Speaking at a press conference today at the Capitol, State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) drew attention to the number one issue for many suburban homeowners; the need for property tax relief. 

A recent poll from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute found that 47 percent of registered voters in Illinois say they want to move out, with 27 percent of them citing property taxes as their top reason. The Tax Foundation, the nation’s leading independent tax policy nonprofit, reported just this week that Illinois has one of the highest property tax burdens in the country (3rd), which contributes to the 5th highest overall tax burden in the nation.

“Families and seniors are being forced from their homes, not because they cannot afford their mortgage, but because they cannot afford their property taxes increasing each and every year,” Rep. Batinick said. “If we’re going to be asked to support a budget package, whatever that may end up looking like, we’re here to say there must be real, significant property tax relief for our constituents.”

The impact of property taxes is not limited to homeowners. Businesses are moving across state lines or closing entirely partially due to the high cost of property taxes in Illinois. The recent Tax Foundation analysis shows that Illinois’ property tax burden ranks as one of the least favorable for businesses, coming in at 46th in the nation.

Watch Rep. Batinick's remarks at today's press conference:

Glenn Minnis | Will County Gazette

State Rep. Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) admits that he doesn’t have a state budget plan – which is exactly what Illinois needs, he says.

Putting an end to the budget crisis that has paralyzed the state for some 18 months, leaving it billions in debt, is fairly simple, Batinick argues.

“Any new budget idea should start with the money that we have coming in and do a baseline budget based on that,” he told the Will County Gazette.

Batinick stressed that his plan isn’t a budget proposal but more of a common-sense method that works in any type of negotiation.

“It would give everybody a reality of where we are,” he said, adding that the adjustments made to the so-called “grand bargain” budget offered recently doesn’t make it much better...
PLAINFIELD – State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) will host an Identity Theft Prevention Seminar on Tuesday, March 21 at the Troy Township Center from 10:00 A.M. to Noon. The community center is located at 25448 Seil Road in Shorewood. A liaison from the Attorney General’s Office will speak on how to prevent fraud and what to do if you’re a victim. The seminar is free and open to the public. Free refreshments will be provided.

“Illinois has one of the highest rates of identity theft in the country, particularly with seniors being targeted as victims,” Rep. Batinick said. “I have partnered with the Attorney General’s Office in the past to help empower local residents to take steps to protect themselves from falling prey to identity theft and scams. We look forward to bringing this presentation to Shorewood.” 

For more information or to RSVP, please call Rep. Batinick’s office at (815) 254-0000.

Representative Batinick serves the 97th District, which includes portions of Oswego, Montgomery, Naperville, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Joliet, and Shorewood.
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Rep. Mark Batinick
PLAINFIELD – State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) is providing a new resource for local residents to submit feedback on current state issues by announcing the launch of his 2017 online constituent survey, available on his legislative website.   

The survey covers a wide range of issues including property taxes, the minimum wage, government reforms and the state budget, to name just a few. Rep. Batinick will utilize constituent feedback to help represent the district effectively during the 2017 legislative session of the Illinois General Assembly.

“All of the issues covered in the survey have been considered by the state legislature in the past; and are likely to be again in 2017,” Rep. Batinick said.  “Your feedback helps me to know where residents of our district stand on a wide range of policy questions of concern to Illinois families and taxpayers.”
Illinois News Network
More than a year and a half after a blown budget deadline, plans are popping up to break Illinois’ longstanding stalemate.
State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, released a plan last week that he said would give the long-standing budget standoff a clearer perspective. His “1-2-3 Plan” isn’t a budget, but a method of going about negotiations.
Batinick said the biggest problem with the budget talks that have happened thus far is that no sides are willing to start by making the cuts necessary to keep the state living within its means.
“Any new budget idea should start with the money that we have coming in and do a baseline budget based on that,” he said. “It would give everybody a reality of where we are.”
PLAINFIELD – State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) has been appointed to serve on the Legislative Audit Commission, the panel responsible for the oversight of the stewardship of public funds and monitoring action to correct weaknesses disclosed by the audits of state agencies.

The Legislative Audit Commission is comprised of 12 legislators appointed by the General Assembly leadership with an equal number of Democrats and Republicans from both the Illinois House of Representatives and the Illinois Senate. 

“Ensuring the integrity of how public funds are spent is one of the most basic responsibilities of state government,” Rep. Batinick said. “I am honored to accept this appointment to serve as a taxpayer watchdog on the Legislative Audit Commission.”
Rep. Mark Batinick
PLAINFIELD – State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) today announced his outline for a “1-2-3 State Budget Solution” that would match current revenue estimates, balance spending reforms with structural reforms and prioritize the payment of the existing backlog of state bills, which currently exceeds $10.7 Billion, according to the Office of Comptroller Susana Mendoza.

“First, let’s complete a budget through 2018 that is based on the revenue we have.  Second, let’s make a plan to pay our unpaid bills.  Third, let’s have a thorough discussion about reforms and any new revenue,” Rep. Batinick said.  Passage of a bipartisan budget solution is especially critical in the wake of the court motion filed by Attorney General Lisa Madigan last week seeking to halt state employee pay. 

The first step in Rep. Batinick’s outline to achieve a responsible resolution to the ongoing state budget impasse centers on keeping the budget in line with the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) revenue estimate of approximately $33 Billion, differing from the $38-$40 Billion budget proposal being considered by the State Senate, which contains minimal or no spending reforms. Crafting a state budget at $33 Billion would meet the state’s commitments at a level consistent with the amount of revenue the state takes in. Pension reform would also have to be part of Step 1. (see attached "1-2-3 Plan outline).
MORRIS – The Grundy Economic Development Council and the Grundy Area Vocational Center will have 50 paid internship opportunities for the 2017 Grundy County Summer Internship program.
According to a news release from GEDC CEO Nancy Norton, the program, now in its fifth year, has grown exponentially thanks to the successful partnership between the education and business communities.
“This is a great opportunity for our young people to have real-world experience that will help them as they make future education and career choices. It also opens up their eyes to the great opportunities right here in Grundy County,” Norton said.
Summer internships are available to all juniors and seniors from the four area high schools, Coal City, Gardner/South Wilmington, Minooka and Morris. A wide variety of paid internships are available, in field including but not limited to accounting, engineering, IT, health care, machinists, and much more.
Most positions are fulltime, however, part-time opportunities are available to accommodate interns who might have other summer commitments. Students can view the positions and apply online at gavc-il.org. All applications must be submitted by Feb. 22. If students have additional questions, they can speak with the guidance counselors at their respective schools.
“Many thanks to this year’s participating businesses: Aux Sable Liquid Products, City of Morris, “D” Construction, GEDC, Grainger, Grundy County Health Department, Illinois Truck, Joliet Junior College, LyondellBasell, Mack & Associates, Metalstamp, Midwest Industrial Sales, Morris Hospital, Regency Care, Rezin Orthopedics, SpaceCo Engineering, Standard Bank, US Cold Storage, Utility Concrete, and Village of Minooka,” Norton said in the release.
From the Morris Daily Herald

UPDATE: House Bill 6630 passed the Illinois House of Representatives on January 10 by a vote of 76-24-6.

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House Revenue & Finance Committee today approved legislation filed by State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) to enact a permanent property tax freeze, House Bill 6630. The bill now advances to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

Rep. Batinick’s legislation resets Illinois’ property tax extension formula to 0.0%, starting in levy year 2016 and continuing thereafter with no provision to sunset or be phased out.  It also allows voters of any taxing district to approve a levy increase (property tax hike) by referendum, if they so choose. 

“Property tax relief is the number one issue for suburban homeowners,” Rep. Batinick said. “We need to provide meaningful property tax reform now that will allow working families and seniors on fixed incomes to afford to stay in their homes. House Bill 6630 would accomplish this bipartisan goal.”
191 new laws take effect January 1, 2017. Here is a preview of 26 Illinoisans should know about:

Social media right to privacy
Public Act 99-610, House Bill 4999
Amends the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act to make it illegal for an employer or prospective employer to request or require an employee or applicant to access a personal online account (such as Facebook) in the presence of the employer. It is also illegal to request or require that an employee or applicant invite the employer to join a group affiliated with any personal online account of the employee, or applicant, or join an online account established by the employer. 

Employee Sick Leave Act
Public Act 99-841, House Bill 6162
Under the new law, employees may now use personal sick leave benefits for purposes dealing with a child, spouse, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent or step parent. The employee can use such time as may be necessary on the same terms that employee would use the time for their own illness or injury.