Martinez

  • Senate Latino Caucus meets with immigration advocates

    SPRINGFIELD – Senate Latino Caucus members joined Senate President John Cullerton, President Pro Tempore Don Harmon and immigrant and refugee rights advocates this week to discuss the Senate’s recent actions taken to protect immigrant communities.

    “I’m the son of hard-working immigrants, and as an elected official it is my honor and duty to support policies that continue to give the immigrant community the opportunities my family has had in the United States of America,” Latino Caucus Co-Chair Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) said. “Donald Trump is trying to take away these opportunities in the land that I love, but policies like these give hope to our people and show we are a force that can use our sacred legislative process to fight back against bigotry.”

  • sneakers 050918Senators swapped their wingtips and pumps for sneakers on Thursday during Suits and Sneakers Day at the Capitol.

    Each January, the American Cancer Society teams up with the National Association of Basketball Coaches for Suits and Sneakers Awareness Week, during which the coaches wear sneakers instead of dress shoes on the court. The week’s mission is to increase awareness of the pervasiveness of cancer and promote fundraising and healthy living initiatives.

  • martinez 042618CHICAGO — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) passed a measure yesterday that makes all qualified applicants eligible for professional licenses, regardless of their immigration status.

    A federal law passed in 1996 makes non-citizens ineligible for state-issued professional licenses, but allows individual states to pass legislation granting licenses to non-citizens.

    “Immigrants contribute to our state by working hard and paying taxes,” Martinez said. “If someone wants to further their career by becoming a licensed professional, we need to do all we can to support that.”

    The legislation deletes a provision in the Pharmacy Practice Act that requires an individual to submit evidence that they are a United States citizen or legally admitted immigrant before receiving a license. It also requires the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to allow an applicant to use a taxpayer identification number as an alternative to a Social Security number.

    Senate Bill 3109 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and now heads to the House for consideration.

  • martinez 042318SPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) passed legislation today that ensures Spanish-speaking Illinoisans are kept up to date on changes to their phone service.

    The measure would require AT&T to provide notice in both English and Spanish before they disconnect a resident’s landline.

    “Studies show that low-income and minority communities are more likely to use landline phone service,” Martinez said. “Everyone should get fair notice of a decision to terminate service so they can either make other arrangements or appeal the decision.”

  • sandoval 041218SPRINGFIELD –The Illinois Senate passed a resolution today condemning Gov. Bruce Rauner’s statement that he would comply should President Donald Trump order Illinois National Guard soldiers to the Mexican border.

    State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago), son of immigrants and Illinois Latino Caucus co-chair, sponsored the measure, Senate Resolution 1593, and had strong words for the governor.

  • martinez 041118CHICAGO —Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following response today to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s statement that he would comply if President Donald Trump orders the Illinois National Guard to the Mexican border:

    “Sending the military to the border is yet another example of the president’s racist attitude towards immigrants. He intends to treat them like dangerous criminals rather than hardworking people looking for a better life. And Governor Rauner’s willingness to send troops from Illinois demonstrates his inability to stand up for what’s right and would only serve to further the president’s dangerous agenda against immigrants.”

  • DREAM Act Now

  • aquino 110917SPRINGFIELD-Illinois recently sent more than 100 Illinois Army National Guard troops to assist in the rebuilding of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, as many on the island continue to live without electricity or clean water.

    “Illinois has a large population of Puerto Ricans, and sending support to those who are struggling in their homeland is the right thing to do. I thank our troops who have been deployed to help as the people of Puerto Rico continue to rebuild,” said Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago), Co-Chairman of the Latino Caucus.

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    SPRINGFIELD –Today the Illinois Senate voted 42-13 to protect workers’ rights and override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 1905, sponsored by Senator Ira I. Silverstein (D-Chicago). The Collective Bargaining Freedom Act blocks Gov. Rauner’s campaign to engage municipalities in creating right-to-work areas in support of moves to boost corporate profits at the expense of workers.

    Sen. Silverstein released the following statement: "Illinois’ future success depends on its support of the middle class. Workers and employers should not be restricted from bargaining collectively as they continue building our economy, and local governments have no place enforcing a rule that constrains this freedom.

    "The Collective Bargaining Freedom Act upholds the rights of hard working Illinoisans to expect good wages, benefits and working conditions in exchange for their labors. This veto rejects restrictions of those rights and rejects the governor’s continuing efforts to undermine organized labor in a state that relies on it to operate and extend our economy and our future. In spite of efforts by the governor and his pro-corporate profit supporters to squelch these rights, we will not grow our economy by taking part in a race to the bottom in wages earned by Illinois families."

    Senate Bill 1905 passed both houses initially in July with bipartisan support, and was vetoed by the governor on September 29. It now goes to the House for their consideration.

    Other Democratic senators spoke in support of the veto override:

    Senator Cristina Castro (Elgin): “I am happy to see that my colleagues helped protect the people of Illinois by working together to defeat Governor Rauner’s corporate agenda. We can’t let companies profit at the expense of our workers.”

    Senator Scott Bennett (Champaign): “Right-to-work is an inaccurate name for a policy designed to take away rights from hardworking families. This law will help tilt the balance away from big corporations and boardroom executives that work to rig the system at the expense of working families.”

    Senator Tom Cullerton (Villa Park): “Illinois businesses will only thrive if we treat workers with the dignity and respect they deserve. Governor Rauner’s harmful boardroom tactics benefit his friends at the expense of Illinois residents. Rauner’s extreme anti-worker agenda has no place in Illinois.”

    Senator Bill Haine (Alton): “The facts are clear: right-to-work policies do nothing but reduce workers’ wages and make workplaces more dangerous. The governor’s veto was yet another attempt to decrease wages for working families and ensure higher profits for his wealthy friends.”

    Senator Terry Link (Vernon Hills): “At a time when workers’ rights are under constant attack, it is important that we protect the rights of Illinoisans by ensuring that local governments can’t take away those rights. Dismantling collective bargaining rights would lead to lower wages and a loss of benefits for Illinois workers, and I refuse to let that happen.”

    Senator Laura Murphy (Des Plaines): "Since taking office, the governor has attempted to roll back employees’ rights and weaken the unions on the backs of which this state was built. All employees benefit from collective bargaining, even those that do not participate in organized labor. I hope this vote sends a strong message to the governor that I will not support his attack on the middle class.”

    Senator Iris Y. Martinez (Chicago): “Once again, the governor showed that he cares more about big businesses than the citizens of Illinois. Right-to-work laws lower wages, something that would disproportionately harm lower-income Illinoisans. I am glad the Senate stood up to the governor today and protected the hard-working men and women of our state.”

    Senator Bill Cunningham (Chicago): “Right-to-work is wrong for Illinois. Right-to-work and other anti-union measures are designed to do nothing more than lower workers’ wages to pad corporate profits.”

    Senator Don Harmon (Oak Park): “This issue has been litigated several times already, and we have our answer – only the state, not local governments, can create right-to-work laws. The governor’s veto was nothing more than a continuation of his radical anti-union agenda. Today’s override will ensure that workers across the state retain the fair representation they deserve.”

    Senator Kwame Raoul (Chicago): “The governor likes to claim that he’s pro-business, but he supports measures that are anything but. Everyone loses when right-to-work laws are in place. We cannot improve the business climate of Illinois if we implement laws that lower wages and strip away workers’ rights.”

     

     

  • martinez 082217SPRINGFIELD — Advanced practice nurses who have completed the necessary training now have full practice authority in Illinois, thanks to legislation passed by Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago 20th) and signed into law today.

    Advanced practice nurses (APNs) are licensed, registered, professional nurses who use diagnostic skills and tests to care for patients. They can include certified nurse midwives, certified nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists and certified clinical nurse specialists.

  • martinez 010817SPRINGFIELD — Legislation sponsored by Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) that allows certain retirees in civil unions or marriages not previously recognized to “buy-back” their survivor benefits was signed into law last Friday.

    The law allows members of the Chicago Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Retirement Fund or their surviving partner to “buy-back” the survivor benefit for which they received a refund if they retired before June 1, 2011 and are part of a civil union or marriage that was not recognized by law before 2011, such as a same sex marriage.

    “Illinois legalized same-sex civil unions in 2011 and same-sex marriage in 2014,” Martinez said. “It is past time that these couples receive all the same benefits under the law.”

    Members of the Chicago Metropolitan Water Reclamation District contribute a percentage of their salary for the survivor benefit provided by the fund.  Upon retirement, the member may choose to receive a refund of their contribution towards the survivor benefit in exchange for giving up the right to a survivor benefit.

    House Bill 164 becomes effective immediately.

     

  • martinez 051917SPRINGFIELD — Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) said Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of legislation leveling the playing field among businesses competing for state contracts is a blow to local and state business owners.

    “This is a governor who claims he is pro-business, but his actions show otherwise,” said Martinez, who sponsored the measure in the Senate. “He is favoring large corporations over the small businesses that are so vital to our state’s economy.”

    Rauner issued a veto last Friday of legislation that aims to stop businesses that move to foreign countries to avoid paying state taxes from entering into state contracts.

    The Illinois State Treasurer’s Office supported the legislation, saying state contracts should be awarded to local and state businesses that pay their fair share of Illinois income taxes.

    "Governor Rauner's veto sends the wrong message to American corporations that engage in offshore tax avoidance schemes," said State Treasurer Michael Frerichs. "Companies that use these unfair tactics to shift taxes onto other Illinois citizens and businesses should not be rewarded with lucrative state contracts."

    The measure includes exceptions for companies for which the state contract is awarded as a sole source procurement or companies that are purchasing medical products and/or drugs.

    House Bill 3419 received bipartisan support in both Houses and was sent to the governor at the end of June.

  • martinez 082217SPRINGFIELD — Drivers can now apply for a driver’s license that meets federal ID requirements and makes it easier for them to fly, with Gov. Bruce Rauner signing legislation today that Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) advanced out of the Senate earlier this year.

    House Bill 395, which Martinez sponsored in the Senate, creates a two-tiered REAL ID system under which applicants for drivers’ licenses and identification cards may choose to apply for either a REAL ID-compliant license/ID card or a non-compliant license/ID card. Becoming REAL ID-compliant is a federal requirement.

  • Sen. Iris Y. MartinezSPRINGFIELD — Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago 20th) released the following statement after voting to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1, legislation reforming Illinois’ worst-in-the nation school funding formula:

    “I voted to uphold Senate Bill 1 today because the nearly 400,000 students in Chicago deserve a quality education just as much as every other student in the state.

    “Our current school funding system disproportionately harms minority and low-income students. The governor’s plan does nothing to fix that. In fact, it makes the situation worse by taking nearly $500 million from Chicago Public Schools.

    The governor’s plan pits Chicago against the rest of the state to score political points. Our children are not political pawns, and we must support the only plan that ensures a fair and equitable education for all students.”

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  • martinez 051917SPRINGFIELD — Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) criticized Secretary of Education Beth Purvis for pitting the students in Chicago Public Schools against students in the rest of the state in her opposition to the Senate’s recently passed school funding reform bill.

    “Governor Rauner and his administration think that some children don’t deserve the same chance. Apparently the children in Chicago Public Schools did something wrong, by being lower-income, by being black or brown, and don’t deserve equal opportunity,” Martinez said at a press conference this morning. “It is our responsibility as legislators to make sure that the circumstances children are born into do not dictate the education they receive. It is our job to stand up for every child in our state.”

    Martinez joined several other Democratic senators in calling for the Executive Inspector General of Illinois to investigate the distribution of state materials from Rauner’s administration to a political group funded by the governor’s campaign.

    State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), the bill’s sponsor, said at the press conference that documents incorrectly portraying the funding schools in Kankakee County would receive were sent to a politically-motivated publication. Manar had seen the documents on Thursday in a meeting with Rauner and had pointed out their errors.

    The Rauner administration has been vocal in its opposition to Manar’s legislation, claiming it “bails out” Chicago Public Schools.

    “I’m tired of hearing the term ‘bailing out CPS,’” Martinez said. “Let me remind Governor Rauner and Beth Purvis that the Chicago Public School District is the third-largest school district in the nation. Shame on the administration that cannot look at this picture for all children across the state and see that every child deserves the same education.”

    SB 1 replaces the state’s current school funding formula with an evidence-based model. It  passed the Senate 35-18 on Wednesday with no Republican support.

  • Sen. Iris Y. MartinezSPRINGFIELD — Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) voted today for a measure that would protect legal abortion in Illinois, even if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

    HB 40, sponsored by Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), removes the trigger language from a previous Illinois law that would outlaw abortion in the state if the landmark case were overturned. It also allows Medicaid and state employee health plans to cover legal abortions.

    “A woman’s right to choose is under attack at a federal level and in many states,” Martinez said. “I am proud that we in Illinois are committed to keeping the government out of a decision that should be solely up to the woman. I hope Governor Rauner lives up to his promise and signs this legislation.”

    HB 40 passed the House 62-55 in last month. It passed the Senate 33-22 today and will move to the governor’s desk. Governor Rauner said in 2014 that he would sign the bill if it passed, then went back on that statement earlier this year, saying he would veto it.