Batinick Bulletin – Legislative News from Rep. Mark Batinick for April 2022

Happy spring! As we wrap up session this week, I’m providing my monthly legislative update with information on what we have been working on down in Springfield during our Spring Session. We are nearing the end of our abbreviated spring session, and the House and Senate are adjourning next week: Friday, April 8th.

Last month following a federal probe into political corruption in Illinois, former House Speaker Mike Madigan was indicted on federal racketeering conspiracy and bribery charges with longtime confidant Michael McClain. The indictment accuses Madigan of leading a criminal enterprise to enhance his political power and financial well-being. As the first sitting state representative to call for his resignation in December 2019, it was encouraging to know we will not tolerate this toxic culture of backroom deals and bribery anymore in Illinois.

Ukrainian flag flies with the United States and Illinois State flags in March over the Illinois State Capitol (March 2nd, 2022) – Please continue to keep the people of Ukraine in your thoughts and prayers!

Please feel free to reach out to my office at any time by calling (815) 254-0000 or emailing during and following our Spring Session. Your feedback and thoughts are welcomed and encouraged!

For all who celebrate, I wish you a happy Easter coming soon and a blessed Passover. I also wish all who observe a peaceful and blessed Ramadan. I hope you all enjoy your time with your loved ones as we welcome spring holidays and warmer days ahead.

Women’s History Month Diaper Drive – Thank You!

Last month, we hosted a diaper and baby wipe drive for Living Alternatives Pregnancy Resource Center in Joliet. Thank you to all who dropped off this incredible amount of diapers and baby wipes to help mothers in need in our communities!

Batinick Rebukes Majority Party Refusal to Pay Unemployment Debt in Full

In late March, the House passed Senate Bill 2803. This legislation was passed in a rushed fashion that only addresses half the problem of our Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund rather than paying the debt in full. House Republicans have had a plan for a year: plug the $4.5 billion hole in the fund and solve the problem. The majority party’s plan leaves a $1.8 billion shortfall in the fund that will need to be plugged. How? Either through tax increases on jobs or benefit cuts on people who receive unemployment insurance. View my full floor speech on this legislation here.

Rep. Batinick Introduces Bill to Cap Gas Sales Tax in Illinois

Last month, I filed legislation to cap sales tax on gas in our state. House Bill 5723 caps the sales tax on gas at 18 cents per gallon for motor fuel and 80% of that amount for gasohol and biodiesel. This is a commonsense solution at a time when we are facing record high gas prices. How our sales tax works is a percentage on the cost of gasoline for sales tax—meaning if prices spike, there’s a huge government windfall of money. I filed this legislation to cap the sales tax and eliminate this windfall. We shouldn’t experience a bump in state revenue on the backs of middle and lower income consumers.

My colleagues also introduced HB 5481 to suspend a gas tax in times of inflation and HB 5155 to provide income tax credit for families struggling to pay for necessities.

Letter to the Editor on Public Safety

A year ago in January, Governor Pritzker signed the SAFE-T Act into law. The Safety Accountability, Fairness & Equity Today Act was quickly drafted and un-vetted, and ultimately, it hasn’t demonstrated its purported outcomes of making Illinois families safer. Read more in my letter to the editor online here.

Batinick-Supported Resolution Urging Honor of Last Medal of Honor Recipient with State Funeral Adopted in House & Senate

A joint resolution I supported to honor the last living World War II Medal of Honor recipient was adopted in the House last month. This resolution urges the President of the United States and the United States Congress to designate a state funeral, including allowing this hero to lie in state in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, when he dies. This will cement his legacy in American history.

100 Years of the Illinois State Police – Thank You, Troopers!

One hundred years ago today, Governor Len Small, the “Good Roads Governor,” appointed the first eight state police officers, making the first day of the new Illinois State Police. In commemoration of this anniversary, the General Assembly has declared each April 1st to be Illinois State Trooper Day. Friends of the State Police and all Illinoisans are asked to remember the State Police each April 1st for the sacrifices they have made and continue to make to keep peace in our state. Thank you, state troopers!

House Republicans Demand Action to Stop Rising Crime, Recall Kim Foxx

At a Capitol press conference calling for the legislature to take action as violent crime continues to rise, my colleague Rep. Chris Bos said the legislature must put politics aside and take action to protect Illinois residents before the spring legislative session adjourns. My other colleague, Leader Tim Butler, called for the General Assembly to take up legislation that allows the citizens of Cook County to petition for the recall of the Cook County State’s Attorney.

State Fair Returns

For those planning ahead for the warm summer months ahead of us, the Illinois State Fair will open on Thursday, August 11th and run through Sunday, August 21st. Find more information on the fair online here.

We recognized Vietnam Veterans Day in the House on Tuesday, March 29th. Thank you to our Vietnam Veterans for your service.

Weather Preparedness

Illinoisans are encouraged to update your family communications plan, make a severe weather preparedness plan, build an emergency preparedness kit, identify your safe place to shelter during a storm, and know the various weather watches/warnings/advisories. Although Severe Weather Preparedness Week was in February and March, it’s important to prepare before severe storms are forecast. Find more information online here.

Illinois Throwback: Learn More about Illinois History

  • Honey, I forgot to duck: On March 30, 1981, President Reagan delivered a speech at the Washington Hilton hotel a short distance from the White House.