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Martinez: Budget works toward a brighter future for Illinois

martinez 022019SPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement today after voting for a balanced budget that keeps Illinois on the path to stability:

“This budget continues the progress we have made since the disastrous budget crisis, but it does much more than that.

“It honors our commitments to those receiving pensions. It invests in our future by exceeding the minimum requirement for education funding and increasing funding for higher education and grants to help young people attend college. It restores much-needed funding to human service programs like domestic violence shelters and immigrant and refugee services, particularly important during a time of great fear for immigrants.

“This budget sends a clear message to the people of our state that we are working toward a brighter future for Illinois.”

Martinez passes measure to protect students from sexual abuse

martinez 053019SPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) today passed legislation out of the Senate to overhaul the manner in which sexual assault investigations involving students are conducted.

The measure is a bipartisan effort to address the issue of educator misconduct in classrooms across the state.

“The importance of protecting our children is an issue we can all agree on, no matter our political party,” Martinez said. “The report released last year was shocking, and I am thankful to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for coming together to work on a solution. Students should be able to feel safe at school.”

Lawmakers began working on a solution after a Chicago Tribune article published late last year detailed a series of stories regarding children being harassed or abused during their time as students at Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

The measure addresses a multitude of issues such as: changing how a student is interviewed after making a complaint, increasing the frequency with which school districts must check statewide databases, lessening the re-traumatization of a student victim and creating a taskforce to continue to review these policy changes.

Among other provisions, the legislation also:

  • Requires school districts to review their existing policies and procedures concerning sexual abuse investigations every two years.
  • Requires the school district as a condition of employment to consider the status of a person who has been issued a finding of child abuse or neglect.
  • Provides for alternative hearing procedures if a student is under the age of 18.

Senate Bill 456 passed both the House and Senate without opposition and will now head to the governor’s desk.

Martinez bill would require consent for AI in job interviews

martinez 052419 2SPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) passed legislation out of the Senate yesterday that would require companies to notify and obtain consent from applicants if artificial intelligence will be used in the interview process.

“Applicants deserve to be as prepared as possible coming into the interview process,” Martinez said. “While artificial intelligence can be a useful tool for companies to screen and hire employees, they should not be able to use it without the applicant agreeing to do so.”

Artificial Intelligence for job hiring has become a recent trend; in a 2017 Deloitte survey, a third of respondents said they already used some form of AI in their hiring process.

Applicants answer a series of questions on video which are then analyzed by advanced machine learning. An algorithm evaluates facial expressions, word choice, body language, vocal tone, and thousands of data points, which are translated into a score. The robot will then decide whether the person is a good fit for the company.

House Bill 2557 passed the Senate without opposition and now heads back to the House for a concurrence vote.

Martinez works to prevent suicide among college students

martinez 052119SPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) passed legislation out of the Senate on Friday that would address the growing concern of mental illness and suicide on college campuses.

Martinez’s measure would require public colleges and universities to make information available to students on all mental health and suicide prevention resources provided by the university.

“We are becoming more aware of the struggles college students are facing,” Martinez said. “They need to be able to readily access help for mental health issues they may be dealing with.”

Diagnoses and treatment of mental health conditions among college students is on the rise, and suicide is the second-leading cause of death among college students.

House Bill 3404 passed the House and Senate and now awaits the governor’s signature. 

Senator Iris Y. Martinez

Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez

Assistant Majority Leader
20th District

Years served:
2003 - Present
 
Committee assignments: Commerce and Economic Development; Education; Energy and Public Utilities; Executive; Government Accountability/Pensions (Vice-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.

Associated Representatives:
Jaime M. Andrade, Jr.
Will Guzzardi