Name: Mark Batinick
Office sought: Representative, State House 97th District
Town of residence: Plainfield
Education / training:
Bachelor of Science in Business Education
University of Illinois 1992
Where are you currently employed? What is your title?
Real Estate Broker
Have you ever held elective or appointive public office before? If yes, please list those offices.
State Representative since 2015. No other office held.
Is it possible to eliminate the state’s budget deficit without a tax increase? Please explain.
Yes. It is not only possible, it is a requirement. Illinois taxpayers pay some of the highest, if not the highest, combined taxes in the nation. The biggest issue is that Illinois is not very efficient at providing services. Bad decisions combined with corruption are costly. Also, the same regulatory environment that makes it expensive to run a business in Illinois also makes it expensive to run government. For example, high worker’s compensation insurance costs are a common complaint of businesses. But government has insurance costs too. Just lowering those costs to a national average will save the state governments hundreds of millions per year. I have many more money savings proposals on my website.
Would you support legislation to place a freeze on property taxes levied by school districts and other local units of government?
While a freeze would be a small step forward, we really need property tax reductions. The state can start by making it less expensive to run local government with policy changes and mandate relief. I have two property tax reduction proposal videos on my website. www.MyDreamForIllinois.com
Please name the state programs you would work to eliminate or cut to reduce the state’s budget deficit.
While there are some smaller programs that need to be eliminated, the bulk of the savings come from bringing efficiencies to government as mentioned previously. A small example is the civil service commission. Universities often complain about having to spend millions to hire through the civil service commission instead of having direct control of the hiring process. The “grow your own teacher” program has only proven to be a really expensive way to train a teacher.
Do you support an increase in the minimum wage?
We should place the minimum wage at a reasonable amount. (It cannot be dramatically higher than neighboring states.) Then we should tie it to an inflation index and be done with it. It should not be used as a political football. Also, there should be a teen and training wage that is lower. This change would also be better if done at the federal level.
Do you support the expansion of the state’s Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act? If not, what is the state’s role—if any—in providing health care services for those with low income or no income or those with chronic health conditions?
Clearly the state has a role in dealing with our most vulnerable. However we took temporary money from the federal government to cover a long term program that now the state is struggling to pay. We must do a much better job of reducing the people on Medicaid that are either ineligible or from another state.
What are your positions on the following issues:
a. abortion rights
I am pro-life. I voted against HB 40 which legislated taxpayer funding of elective abortions. I support parental notice.
b. school vouchers
I supported the new education funding formula bill that passed last year and included opportunity scholarships. I look forward to seeing what the results are from the implementation of the new legislation.
c. Increased regulations on firearms
I supported the ban on ‘bump stocks” and the “red flag” bill which provides a way to remove firearms from the mentally ill. But, I was deeply disappointed at the lack of will by the General Assembly to address increased penalties for repeat violent gun offenders. There seems to be a whole lot of focus on increased requirements for law abiding gun owners and no focus on criminals.
Do you support the legalization of marijuana?
I do not. Several doctors, law enforcement members and agencies have spoken to and/or written me about the downside of legalization. I do however believe medical marijuana may be a good alternative to help with the opioid epidemic.