SPRINGFIELD — Today Governor JB Pritzker gave his Budget Address to the General Assembly, where he outlined his fiscal priorities for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

The Governor’s address included a five-point pension reform plan to deal with the State’s $130 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield), a member on the Personnel & Pensions Committee, was alarmed with the Governor’s proposal to extend the $878 million pension payment, an idea that to Batinick only prolongs the problem but does nothing to fix the system. In response to today’s budget address, Rep. Batinick released the following statement:

“I came away from the Governor’s remarks with doubts as to how this plan will really make a difference in our state’s finances. It paints a picture filled with rainbows and unicorns by using sources of revenue that don’t even exist yet. This is an unrealistic block to build the future of our state on, and one that I believe will fall short of Governor Pritzker’s lofty expectations.

“Our fiscal problems are extensive, and will not be solved overnight, but we can work to lay the foundation for real reforms. We cannot prolong our pension payments and push these obligations down the road for later generations to deal with. Shortchanging our pension payment by over $800 million is not the answer, and ignoring this obligation will only add to our troubles down the road. It’s time to make those difficult decisions now and solve the problems in front of us.”

The General Assembly will be tasked with passing a budget agreement ahead of the fiscal year, which begins on July 1st and runs through June 30th, 2020.


SPRINGFIELD…A proposal to increase the minimum wage rate in Illinois passed yesterday in the House of Representatives. The bill, SB1, would increase the current rate of minimum wage from $8.25 an hour to $15 an hour statewide, and would be gradually enacted over the next six years.

During the debate, State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) heavily opposed the measure. Representative Batinick questioned the impact and long term effects of the proposal, yet neither concern could be answered by the bill’s sponsor.

“No studies have been done on the long term effects of dramatic increases in minimum wage,” said Representative Batinick. “We are in unchartered territory, and for a state like Illinois, where we have so many existing challenges impeding our financial success, doing something unprecedented is simply bad policy.”

Representative Batinick’s concern with the proposal involves the unknown effects the increase will have on businesses statewide, including those in southern Illinois who will experience an 82% increase in wages.

“We cannot predict how this will affect our state. What we do have is an example in the City of Chicago, where the effects of their minimum wage increase from 2014 are coming to light. Their population is declining and businesses are leaving the city for lower costs in the suburbs—or other states. Those are facts. Something that so clearly has not been successful in one city is now going to be amplified in our entire state. This is absurd and will put any businesses who are already struggling in serious trouble.”

Despite the many oppositions voiced today, SB1 ultimately passed and will move forward to Governor JB Pritzker for final approval. 


SPRINGFIELD—State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) announced his committee assignments for the 101st General Assembly, where he will join colleagues in the House to vet legislation for the next two years.

Notably, the Representative will serve as the Republican Spokesperson for the Personnel and Pensions Committee. Rep. Batinick has served on this committee in prior General Assemblies, but this is the first time he will serve as the caucus’ spokesperson.

“With our State’s pension crisis continually being one of our biggest burdens, I am ready to take the lead as caucus spokesperson and actively work toward viable bipartisan solutions,” said Batinick. “This is a crucial committee tasked with important work, as it involves major policy that the future of our State depends on.”

In addition to Personnel and Pensions, Representative Batinick was appointed to the following committees: Insurance, Healthcare License, and International Trade and Commerce.

Committees will meet for the first time this week, as the legislative session convenes in the House on February 5th.

SPRINGFIELD – This week in the House of Representatives, lawmakers voted on the House Rules, which will govern operations in the House for the next two years.

State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) proposed a fair set of reforms to include the 101st General Assembly’s House Rules, to create a better process for governing and foster greater bipartisanship. This set of suggested reforms included required committee votes for bipartisan bills and resolutions, longer waiting periods so that legislation can be reviewed, required votes for bills & resolutions supported by a bipartisan supermajority, and extended time for the House to consider discharging special committees.

During the House floor debate, Representative Batinick spoke out against the Rules presented--which were written to consolidate power in the hands of the Speaker of the House.

Holding up a large bill for emphasis, Rep. Batinick stated, “I have a bill here that is this thick. The way the rules are operating right now, is we could do a gut and replace, do a floor amendment and in one hour you’re going to be voting on a piece of legislation. I don’t believe that’s transparency.”

Rep. Batinick joined his fellow House Republican colleagues in opposing the House Rules for the 101st GA, proposed by Democrats. “This is incredibly frustrating as a lawmaker, but also for Illinois residents,” said Batinick. “We all deserve better. To produce good policy, we need to start with a fair law making process.”

The House Rules ultimately passed on party lines. The House of Representatives will commence legislative session on February 5th in Springfield.