Happy holidays! I hope you had wonderful Thanksgiving celebrations and are enjoying this joyful time of year in Illinois. I will provide an additional update following the end of veto session today and my final Batinick Bulletin e-newsletter next month at the end of my term. Please feel free to continue reaching out to my office by calling (815) 254-0000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts on legislation in the General Assembly and veto session.
Batinick Introduces Property Tax Relief Legislation for Last Week of Veto Session
This month, I introduced legislation to provide property tax relief for Illinoisans. House Bill 5834 would begin the Education Property Tax Relief Fund for Fiscal Year 2024 to annually award property tax relief grants to Illinois school districts and provide needed property tax relief for Illinois families. I urge my colleagues in the House to debate this legislation and work together to deliver this relief. Read more about this legislation online here.
Madigan Pleads Not Guilty to Federal Corruption Charges
The charge sheet against Madigan began with allegations involving him, his senior aides, ComEd, and the state laws that govern the consumer bills that ComEd is allowed to send out to electricity customers. The federal charge sheet has since been lengthened with additional new charges, constituting a superseding indictment (a new indictment that supplements and replaces the first one).
In it, Madigan is accused of colluding with AT&T involving other state laws that govern the price tags on consumer bills sent out to millions of Illinoisans. In return for allowing these firms to charge higher bills to customers, Madigan is accused of extracting various favors from these firms, allegedly including money and jobs from these firms and interests for Madigan’s allies and friends. In a November 1st arraignment, Madigan’s lawyers told a court he was pleading “not guilty” to all of the current charges against him.
AT&T joins Commonwealth Edison as companies identified so far in Madigan’s corruption investigation that have agreed to pay millions of dollars in fines after agreeing to deferred prosecution agreements. AT&T will pay a $23 million fine after admitting the company helped a Madigan ally get a no-show job in exchange for passage of legislation favorable to AT&T.
Case against SAFE-T Act to Be Heard December 7
A case against the State law to abolish cash bail, and to make other “reforms” to Illinois criminal law and procedure, will be heard in court next week. 58 state’s attorneys representing more than half of the counties in Illinois have filed lawsuits against the Act. The lawsuits have been consolidated into one case to be heard in Kankakee County circuit court and the State’s Attorney of McHenry County was selected the lead counsel for the consolidated plaintiffs. The lead prosecutors of Kankakee County, Kendall County, Sangamon County, Vermilion County, and Will County will also be represented on the plaintiffs’ team.
The hearing will enable the plaintiff state’s attorneys to present evidence on the unconstitutionality of the SAFE-T Act. Arguments center on the text of the law and the way it was enacted by the Illinois General Assembly. Persons connected with the lawsuit say they believe the circuit court will rule on the case no later than December 15th—two weeks from Thursday. Fast action is significant, as the law is slated to become effective on January 1st.
How to Help this Holiday Season
During the holiday season, you may be wondering how you can help the people around you and your community. One opportunity is volunteering with Wreaths Across America Day on December 17th. Find how you can volunteer by clicking “VOLUNTEER” on WreathsAcrossAmerica.org.
You can also “adopt” a letter to Santa under the USPS’ Operation Santa and spread Christmas cheer through giving this year. Find more information on the program and how to participate online here.
Fire Safety this Holiday Season
U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 790 home structure fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees. Deck the halls with fire safety this holiday season! Find more information and an informative video online here.
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is Live
988 is the mental health version of 911. The dialing code will strengthen and expand the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, providing the public with easier access to life-saving services. Find more information at Illinois988.com.
Give Blood This Holiday Season!
Every day, blood donors help patients of all ages: accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those battling cancer. There is no substitute for blood; when a patient needs it, it was given in advanced by generous donors. Schedule a blood donation online here!
Illinois Throwback: Learn More about Illinois History
- “The last victims of Pearl Harbor”: On a Sunday morning in December 1941, the United States Pacific Fleet was devastated by a surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The fleet’s eight powerful battleships; America’s guardians of the seas for more than a generation; were sent to the bottom of the harbor in a matter of minutes, and 2,400 Americans lost their lives.
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