News from State Representative Mark Batinick

Self Defense Seminar

I am hosting a free self-defense class for women in the 97th District. The seminar will be taught by the world-renowned educators at One-Light Self-Defense, and will include self-defense, distraction, and awareness tactics.  Girls and women ages 12+ are encouraged to attend.  Here are the details:

This is a great event that gives women the right tools to protect themselves.  I have hosted this event for several years now, and it is one I think is important for women to attend and learn everything they can to protect themselves.  Providing these defensive techniques and promoting overall awareness will help put these women in the best position to ensure their safety.  Incidents can happen when you least expect it, and this class is a great preparation for those circumstances.

While the class is free, any donations collected will be given to Women at Risk International (WAR Intl), an organization that fights against human trafficking, rehabilitates victims and gives a voice to those who have been oppressed.

Don’t forget to RSVP by calling my district office at 815-254-0000 or emailing at debk.repbatinick@gmail.com.

Legislative Action

One of the bills that I filed this year, HB355 unanimously passed out of the Elementary and Secondary Education: Administration, Licensing, and Charter Schools Committee, and will move forward for further consideration in the House.   The bill seeks support for general education teachers to receive training on inclusive classroom practices.  Under the bill’s provisions, classroom teachers would receive training on instructional and behavioral strategies in order to work better with special education students in a general classroom setting so that they are able to serve all students.

In addition, a few noteworthy bills were recently debated in the House.  Here is the recap of legislation that was passed:

HB246: Provides that textbooks purchased with grant funds must be non-discriminatory. Provides that in public schools only, the teaching of history of the United States shall include a study of the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State.

HB252Expands the scope of the Human Rights Act to all employers within the State.

HB834: Prohibits an employer from requiring an employee to sign a contract or waiver about the employee’s wages, screening job applicants based on their wage or salary history, requiring that an applicant’s prior wages satisfy minimum or maximum criteria, requiring as a condition of being interviewed that an applicant disclose prior wages or salary, and seeking the wage or salary history, including benefits or other compensation, of any job applicant from an current or former employer.

HB345, raises the age for whom tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, and alternative nicotine products may be sold to and possessed by from at least 18 years of age to at least 21 years of age.  It also eliminates the prohibition and penalties for minors possessing tobacco products. According to the American Lung Association, seven states and more than 34 municipalities in Illinois have already passed Tobacco 21 laws.  This bill is an effort to prevent young people from starting to smoke, and to thus promote lung and heart health. 

As we continue through legislative session in Springfield, I appreciate hearing your feedback on issues important to you.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to my district office to express your views on legislation.

Stephanie’s Law Still Waiting Further Consideration

I filed an important piece of legislation this year to strengthen the state’s sex offender registry.  The bill, HB886, would close sex offender loopholes that exist in current Illinois statutes to help protect children and prevent any form of sexual assault.

I have been working on this legislation since 2015, when it was brought to my attention by a constituent in the 97th District, which is why the bill is referred to as “Stephanie’s Law” after the young woman who was affected.

 Stephanie’s Law, would require a person to register under the Sex Offender Registration Act if convicted of a battery determined by the courts to be sexually motivated, and committed by someone over 21 assaulting somebody under 17.  The loophole that currently exists does not include a provision for a sexually motivated battery within the misdemeanor battery statute.

Although the bill has a wide bipartisan support, it has met roadblocks in the General Assembly and as a result, has yet to be signed into law.  As a father, passing this law and closing this loophole is imperative. Enhancing penalties in our criminal code is no easy feat.  Yet, this bill has been thoroughly vetted through its time in the legislative process as well as through my collaboration with state’s attorney’s from three different counties—ensuring that it is the best bill to make this necessary change.  This is a good piece of legislation, and one that will protect our children.  It is necessary and it is frustrating that it hasn’t been done already.

To help gain support for the bill and to move it forward, I have created a petition so that constituents can pledge their support for this effort.  To sign your name and pledge your support, click here.

Please feel free to contact my district office with questions or concerns about legislation, state issues, or upcoming events.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,