Springfield – State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) attended President Obama’s address to the Illinois General Assembly Wednesday, in a speech that dealt with finding common ground in modern politics which are mired in partisan gridlock, particularly in Illinois.
Rep. Batinick stated, “The President discussed how overly partisan politics make debates move away from a place of common ground, and move discussions further right or left. Without reaching across the aisle to settle differences, the machinations of government can become stagnant, and roads go unrepaired, communities are less safe, and budgets aren’t passed. I have made it a point to reach across the aisle to help resolve the state’s challenges in efforts to embark upon better budgeting, to pay our State’s current and past workers, and to bring to light why our higher education system is so expensive and in need of reform.
The President also discussed redistricting reform, as the party in power in each state commonly begins a process of gerrymandering and choosing their voters, instead of the voters choosing them. I have long been a supporter of redistricting reform and would like to see Illinois use a nonpartisan process similar to the one used for Iowa’s congressional districts, which are more appropriately drawn by population levels and not by the likeliness of each community’s support for one party.
President Obama discussed voter registration and making it easier for all citizens to vote. While Chicago has a history of allegations of voter fraud, it is essential that we ensure ballot integrity by protecting the time-honored American principle of ‘one person, one vote.’ We can achieve higher levels of voter participation and strengthen voter confidence in the way our elections are conducted by making the process more efficient and cost-effective. I thank the President for his time today, and hope that the General Assembly does come together as he called upon us to, in an effort to settle the State’s biggest issues, lessen the divisive rhetoric, and put Illinois on a better path forward.”