Greetings and happy autumn! The fall season brings spectacular weather to the Midwest and Illinois and I hope you are enjoying the foliage and scenery around the 97th District these next few weeks.
Next month, the General Assembly is returning for our fall veto session. We will consider bills vetoed by Governor Pritzker and new issues may also see legislative action. As in previous years, this year’s veto session will straddle Thanksgiving week. This will begin with three days starting on November 15th and conclude with three days ending on December 1st. No veto session activities will be held Thanksgiving week.
For individuals and families who may need heating and energy assistance as we enter cooler months, you can find additional information about the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) at HelpIllinoisFamilies.com or by visiting your local agency.
For all celebrating, I wish you happy Halloweens later this month! For any questions or if you need assistance navigating state agencies, please feel free to call (815) 254-0000 or email email@example.com at any time. Trick or treat!
The Batinick Plan for Pension Reform as a Foundation for Property Tax Relief
In September, I released a property tax relief plan rooted in pension reform. This is a 23-year plan to reduce property taxes by 50%, which will also spur economic growth, reinvigorate communities burdened by high property taxes, and increase jobs. This plan designates a flat amount of the budget toward our pension payments, which includes a new property tax relief component. I urge my House colleagues to consider this plan as we approach the fall veto session next month.
You can read my full plan online here.
The Truth about No Cash Bail in Illinois
Starting next year, Illinois’ cash bail system will be eliminated due to provisions in the Democrats’ so-called “SAFE-T Act.” That means on January 1st, people can no longer be held in custody prior to trial for offenses like robbery, arson, second degree murder, kidnapping, and more. The elimination of cash bail will reduce public safety and put communities across the state at risk. We have to repeal the SAFE-T Act to keep Illinois residents safe from crime.
Under the Democrat-passed SAFE-T Act, persons accused of the following crimes cannot be detained pretrial: robbery, burglary (non-residential), arson (non-residential), vehicular invasion, DUI causing bodily harm or death, involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide, 2nd degree murder, concealment of a homicidal death, and kidnapping.
You can see Article 110: Pretrial Release, of the Illinois Code of Criminal Procedure (725 ILCS 5/110) for more information.
In a recent op-ed published by the Chicago Tribune, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin called the misnamed “SAFE-T Act” a “ticking time bomb set to go off at the start of next year that will have serious ramifications for law-abiding citizens and give drug cartels free rein on Illinois’ streets.” Read the full op-ed online here.
Multiple lawsuits have been filed to stop or strike down the SAFE-T Act. The State’s Attorney and Sheriff of Kankakee County have filed a lawsuit containing five separate counts as reasons why the Act must be declared unconstitutional and repealed in full. Parallel cases have been filed in Will and McHenry Counties.
The SAFE-T Act includes provisions that will exacerbate the issue of rising crime and make Illinois communities less safe. House Republicans are leading the charge to REPEAL the SAFE-T Act. Please sign the petition to help us repeal this dangerous law.
Democrat Bill Would Reduce Penalties for Deadly Drugs to Class A Misdemeanor
Drug possession crimes covered in the Democrat-backed legislation include the possession of fentanyl, methamphetamine, crack cocaine, and heroin. Misdemeanors under the bill include possession of less than five grams of cocaine, less than five pills of most scheduled III substances such as Xanax and Valium, and less than 40 pills of oxycodone and similar painkillers. House Democrats approved the measure, HB 3447, and House Republicans voted unanimously against the measure. However, with approval of the majority party the measure was sent to the State Senate and they are considering it.
In the House, there was strong bipartisan opposition to it—61 representatives voted for it, all Democrats. But 57 Republicans and Democrats voted either against this legislation or didn’t support it. It was my Number One mission in the House last spring to prevent this dangerous bill from becoming law. Once the bill passed the House, I worked to stop it by speaking with senators and directly with the Governor.
My colleague, Rep. Deanne Mazzochi from Elmhurst, said on this: “If you are going out of your way to put fentanyl into other drugs, putting it into vitamins, putting it in something that looks like candy, putting into something that is rainbow colored, you clearly have an intent to distribute, to target, to harm.”
Find more information on rainbow fentanyl online here.
With Migrants Continuing to Arrive in Chicago, Governor Pritzker Issues an Emergency Disaster Proclamation
Last month, Governor JB Pritzker called out the National Guard to help deal with the busloads of migrants sent to Chicago from Texas. The governor also issued a disaster proclamation to speed up the availability of state money and resources to deal with the crisis. The disaster proclamation covers all counties in Illinois and mobilizes the Illinois National Guard. It also directs the State Board of Education, four named State departments, and all other State agencies to coordinate with each other to respond to asylum seekers coming to Illinois. The gubernatorial proclamation designates the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) as the lead agency to provide services—including taxpayer-funded services—to migrants seeking asylum in Illinois.
Chief Justice Burke Announces Resignation
Chief Justice Anne M. Burke will resign from the Supreme Court effective November 30th, 2022. Appellate Justice Joy V. Cunningham will fill the vacated Burke seat on the Illinois Supreme Court bench. She will be the second African-American woman to serve on the state’s highest court. The Supreme Court also chose Mary Jane Theis, one of its own members, to replace Burke as the Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. Burke’s retirement came months prior to the scheduled trial of her husband, Chicago Alderman Ed Burke, on federal racketeering charges.
State Senator Indicted on Federal Corruption Charges
A sitting State Senator has been indicted on federal corruption charges including bribery and lying to the FBI. How many more indictments will it take before Democrats get serious about ending corruption in Illinois? We must take steps to end the culture of corruption in Illinois by passing strong ethics laws. House Republicans have sponsored legislation to ban legislators from serving as lobbyists and empower the Legislative Inspector General to actively root out corruption. We need robust ethics reform today to give our citizens the honest, transparent state government they deserve.
Happy Pumpkin Spice Day!
Did you know, Illinois produces the most pumpkins in the U.S.? That makes October 1st—Pumpkin Spice Day—an even more special day in the Prairie State! What better place to visit than Morton, Illinois—the Pumpkin Capital of the World—or make recipes with made-in-Morton Libby’s pumpkin! You can find recipes like pumpkin waffles, harvest pumpkin apple bread, pumpkin nog, or lots of pumpkin pies online here.
Resources to Become a Foster Family in Illinois
I’m glad to provide information and resources on my website for individuals and families interested in becoming foster families in Illinois. Find more information on the process, FAQs, useful links, and how to get started on my website here.
Illinois Throwback: Learn More about Illinois History
- TBT: The most famous Halloween prank in history: On October 30, 1938, an invading army from Mars landed in the marshlands of northern New Jersey…Or so you might have been led to believe if you had your radio tuned to CBS.
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