Martinez

  • Latino Caucus supports Illinois National Guard troops deployed to Puerto Rico

    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.

  • Senate overrides veto, protects workers' rights

    silverstein 102417 3

    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.”

     

     

  • New Martinez law grants full practice authority to advanced practice nurses

    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 measure expanding survivor benefits for same sex couples becomes law

    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.

     

  • Rauner veto of Martinez measure harmful to local businesses

    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 measure creating REAL ID license option becomes law

    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.

  • Martinez: Governor’s plan makes school funding inequity worse

    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.”

  • Senators react to governor’s call for special session

    spec ses ftr

  • Senate approves Chicago Public Schools elected school board measure

    raoul 053117

  • Senate Democrats Balanced Budget vs. Rauner's Rhetoric (VIDEO)

    may31 presser

  • Documents on ed funding published by governor's political allies (VIDEO)

    presser 051917 ftr

  • Martinez calls on Rauner executives to stop trashing CPS

    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.

  • Martinez supports bill protecting legal abortion in Illinois

    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.

  • Martinez: Special interests compromised women’s health in Home Birth Safety Act vote

    martinez 050517SPRINGFIELD — Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to the Senate Licensed Activity and Pension Committee’s “no” vote on the Home Birth Safety Act:

    This week has been a disaster for women’s health. In Washington D.C. and in Springfield, groups of men got together and dictated the choices women can make about their health, pregnancy and childbirth.

    I am ashamed to say that special interests won out over women’s interests when the Senate Licensed Activity and Pension Committee voted on the Home Birth Safety Act on Wednesday.

    With yesterday’s horrifying vote on the American Healthcare Act, women have fewer choices than ever with regards to their healthcare. And, sadly, this vote seeks to take away one more - a woman’s choice to have her baby at home. Additionally, it takes away an employment opportunity for women, as the majority of midwives are female.

    Sarah Moore, from the Illinois Council of Certified Professional Midwives association, had this to say:

    “As midwives, we have been fighting for 30 years to let families choose the way they bring babies into the world. We’ve been willing to compromise, but we’ve been met with opposition at every turn. I am disappointed that even with someone like Senator Martinez bringing this to the table, special interest groups found a reason to deny families this choice.”

    The Home Birth Safety Act is not just about choice, however – it’s about responsibility. As the chair of the Licensed Activity and Pension Committee, it is my responsibility to make sure that the state is implementing safe and fair licensing standards for people to practice their chosen profession.

    Home births are becoming increasingly common in Illinois and around the country – the rate has increased 77 percent between 2009-2014. In 32 states, women can have their home birth attended to by a licensed midwife. In Illinois, they have to use a midwife operating outside the system.

    Let me be clear – home births will continue in Illinois. But because we allowed special interest groups to dictate our decision in committee this week, the women who choose this method to deliver their children will be less safe doing so.

    I introduced this bill because I heard from women in my communities that there is a passionate desire for it. Now these women won’t even get the chance to hear an open debate on the issue on the Senate floor.

    These shameful actions, silencing women and dictating their health care choices, have no place in Illinois.

  • Martinez: Trust Act offers necessary protection for immigrants

    martinez 050417SPRINGFIELD — Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to the Illinois Senate passing the Trust Act:

    “There has been real fear and concern in the immigrant community following the election of President Trump. People shouldn’t have to go about their daily lives in fear because of their appearance or the color of their skin. This legislation ensures that parents can drop their children off at school and that people can seek medical attention without being in danger of deportation. I am pleased that Illinois has taken a step to prevent federal overreach and to foster a vital relationship of trust between immigrants and law enforcement in our communities.”

    Senate Bill 31, which creates the Illinois Trust Act:

    • Bars law enforcement agencies in Illinois from engaging in immigration enforcement without a warrant from federal immigration agents.
    • Bars local participation in federal registry programs based on national origin or religion, such as a potential Muslim registry.
    • Establishes safe zones at schools, medical facilities and properties operated by the Illinois Secretary of State, where federal immigration enforcement would not be admitted without a valid criminal warrant.
    • Establishes deadlines for police to complete certification forms that are requested by immigrant victims of violent crimes who cooperate with police. The certifications are among the requirements for immigrant crime victims to apply for certain visas.

    Additionally, the legislation prohibits state and local police from searching, arresting, or detaining a person based solely on citizenship or immigration status or an administrative warrant.

    The measure does not prevent state and local police from conducting valid criminal investigations or serving criminal warrants.

  • Martinez: American heroes should not be deported

    martinez 050616CHICAGO — In response to a judge ordering that U.S. Army veteran Miguel Perez Jr., who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, must be deported, Senate Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement:

    “Miguel Perez Jr. put his life on the line for the United States and should not be deported, which will separate him from his family and leave him without an adequate support system.

    "Mr. Perez, like many of our returning soldiers, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Here in Illinois and throughout the United States, we need to focus on strengthening employment, mental health and substance abuse programs to help veterans transition back into civilian life.

    "We should be enormously grateful for the sacrifices members of the armed forces make on our behalf. Deporting American heroes is wrong. I urge Governor Rauner to approve Mr. Perez’s clemency request when it gets to his desk.”

  • Martinez: NEIU, Latino students hurt by Rauner’s inaction

    martinez sos 012517CHICAGO — Illinois Senate Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to news that Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) will cancel three days of classes to cut costs as Governor Rauner has failed to produce a state budget that supports higher education.

    “As a proud graduate of Northeastern Illinois University, it breaks my heart to see my alma mater facing this hardship because we have a governor whose refusal to negotiate a budget is dismantling higher education in Illinois.

    A high percentage of Northeastern Illinois University students are Latinos, making it a critically important institution for advancing academic and career opportunities for many students in my district and in the Latino community. I support Northeastern Illinois University Interim President Richard J. Helldobler’s call for the state to fund higher education. The state needs to support state schools.

    Sadly, what’s happening at Northeastern Illinois University is happening to colleges and universities throughout Illinois. Classes being cancelled, furloughs, faculty layoffs and students deciding to go to colleges and universities in other states has become too common. Governor, it’s time to do your job and start supporting higher education.”

    NEIU’s El Centro campus, located in Martinez’s district, has been a focal point for access to higher education opportunities in the Latino community.

    NEIU, which serves roughly 10,000 students, also recently closed for spring break to implement a weeklong furlough program and has had to let employees go due to the lack of a state budget.

  • Martinez receives Legacy and Leaders Award from Illinois Women’s Institute of Leadership

    Photo Release: Martinez receives Legacy and Leaders Award from Illinois Women’s Institute of LeadershipSPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Women’s Institute of Leadership (IWIL) recently honored Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) with the Legacy and Leaders Award. Martinez was selected for the award because of her support for IWIL and commitment to helping women succeed in the public sector.

    “I am humbled and grateful to receive an award from an organization that has provided training, leadership and networking opportunities for women,” said Martinez, who is an IWIL Board member. “If we want to have a direct role in shaping policies that deal with our education, pay, reproductive health and other issues that matter, then it’s important that women get involved in government and public policy.”

  • Senate passes Martinez plan to improve student trustee residency requirements

    martinez 040617SPRINGFIELD — In response to an undocumented University of Illinois student being unable to run for the position of student trustee because he was not registered to vote in Illinois, Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) passed legislation out of the Illinois Senate yesterday to change residency requirements to be a University of Illinois student trustee.

    “It’s important that students who are accepted and enrolled in the University of Illinois can run for the position of student trustee if they want to,” Martinez said. “Our institutions of higher education should be about promoting leadership opportunities. Being a student trustee is one good way students can serve and enhance their skills.”

    Martinez’s proposal was inspired by a student who 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 is a proponent of the initiative.

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

    Residency is currently 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 or Illinois identification card
    • Being registered to vote in Illinois

    But under Martinez’s proposal, Senate Bill 598, to demonstrate Illinois residency and be able to run for student trustee, a student would have to meet two out of the following three factors: proof of residence for the past six months, a voter registration card and a driver’s license/identification.

    Martinez passed similar legislation last year, but it was vetoed by the governor.

    “I have worked with the governor’s office on this legislation,” Martinez said. “I am hopeful that the Illinois House will pass the measure, and the governor will sign in it into law.”

    Senate Bill 598 now moves to the Illinois House for consideration.

  • Legislation protecting immigrant communities moves forward

    martinez 040517SPRINGFIELD — After legislation that would protect immigrants and restore trust between immigrant communities and local police was passed by the Illinois Senate Executive Committee today, Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement:

    “Here in Illinois, we need to lead the way in promoting trust between the immigrant community and law enforcement and protecting immigrants from federal overreach. That’s why moving this initiative forward today was positive. I want the immigrant community to know that I have their back and will continue fighting so that no one is deported when seeking medical treatment at the hospital or dropping their kids off at school.”

    Martinez is a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 31, which would create the Illinois Trust Act. Certain components of the measure are listed below:

    • Clarifies that state and local police are not deputized immigration agents and therefore are not expected to expend resources enforcing or complying with federal civil immigration detainers and administrative warrants.
    • Prohibits law enforcement agencies from using state resources to create discriminatory federal registries based on race, national origin, religion or other protected classes.
    • Establishes safe zones at schools, medical facilities, courts and properties operated by the Illinois secretary of state, where federal immigration enforcement would not be admitted without a valid criminal warrant.

    The Illinois Trust Act will have to be approved by the Illinois Senate before being considered by the Illinois House.