Text Size

Martinez: Governor’s veto of student trustee bill takes away opportunities from students

Martinez: Governor’s veto of student trustee bill takes away opportunities from studentsSPRINGFIELD — When Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) learned that an undocumented University of Illinois student was prevented from running for the position of student trustee because he was unable to show that he was a registered voter in Illinois, she filed legislation to fix the problem.

That proposal passed out of the Illinois Senate and House, but it was vetoed by the governor today.

“I am disappointed by the governor’s veto,” Martinez said. “College is about helping students grow inside and outside of the classroom, and it should not be difficult for a student to be allowed to run for a leadership position at their university. The governor had a chance to open up opportunities to students, but he unfortunately chose not to do so.”

The student who inspired Martinez’s proposal was unable to run for the student trustee position, despite the fact that he was enrolled in the university and an Illinois resident.

The University of Illinois Trustee Act requires students to be residents of Illinois in order to be selected as a student trustee.

Residency is demonstrated by three factors:

•    Evidence of the student’s residence in Illinois for at least the previous six months
•    A valid Illinois driver’s license
•    Being registered to vote in Illinois

However, under Martinez’s proposal, Senate Bill 2204, a student would only have to meet one of the three factors to demonstrate Illinois residency.

The University of Illinois supported this initiative and worked with Martinez to get it passed out of the legislature.

“I will continue to work with the University of Illinois and other proponents of this bill to override the governor’s veto,” Martinez said.

Senator Iris Y. Martinez


Majority Caucus Chair
20th District

Years served:
2003 - Present
Committee assignments: Education; Energy; Gaming; Labor; Licensed Activities and Pensions (Chairperson); Transportation.

Biography: Born Feb. 25, 1956, in Chicago; earned her bachelor's degree in public policy and administration from Northeastern Illinois University in 2009; elected president of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators. She is also the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Co-Chair; has one daughter.