Martinez

  • Hispanics: Honoring our heritage, building our future (VIDEO)

    HHM 2015

  • Martinez stands up for the Latino community

    martinez 090115SPRINGFIELD — Today, Senate Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) joined members of the Latino Caucus at a hearing regarding how the absence of a state budget is impacting Latino-serving providers and their clients.

    “We heard riveting testimony about how the lack of a state budget is impacting Latinos,” Martinez said. “I am troubled by what I heard today. The governor needs to focus on solving the state’s budget impasse so that human service providers helping our children, seniors, the disabled and other vulnerable populations can stay in business.”

    Martinez provided introductory remarks at the hearing, which featured testimony from representatives of Gads Hill Center, Latino Organization of the Southwest, La Casa Norte, El Valor, Logan Square Neighborhood Association, Corazon Community Services and other organizations.

    Senator Martinez’s participation in today’s hearing is part of a broader effort she is undertaking to help Latinos. This year, she encouraged Latinos to become blood donors and discussed the importance of Latinos being adequately represented in state government.

    Martinez has also spoken out about the necessity of the state funding Welcoming Centers, which serve as lifelines to our state’s newest residents by offering classes and providing information on topics such as employment training and home ownership.

  • Illinois to test locking devices for painkillers

    martinez courtSPRINGFIELD — Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) sponsored legislation in the Senate that will make Illinois the first state in the nation to launch a pilot program to provide locking devices on prescription vials for painkillers containing hydrocodone, also known as Vicodin or Norco.   

    Today, her proposal was signed into law.

    “Too many Illinoisans become addicted to these powerful medications,” Martinez said. “This legislation will help prevent individuals who haven’t obtained a written prescription from using hydrocodone, a dangerous drug when used without a doctor’s supervision.”

    Physicians often prescribe painkillers such as hydrocodone for short- and long-term pain.

    Under Martinez’s plan, participating pharmacies in Illinois will place numerical locking devices on pharmacy prescriptions with hydrocodone.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control, drug overdose death rates in the United States have more than tripled since 1990. Prescription painkillers cause nearly three out of four prescription drug overdoses.

    In Chicago, hydrocodone is the most available prescription painkiller to non-prescribed users.

    The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation will be charged with implementing the new program.               

  • Senate Democrats offer A+ laws for back-to-school season

    backtoschool

  • Martinez helps the wrongly arrested

    martinez 73015SPRINGFIELD — Senate Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) sponsored legislation this year that would allow arrest records of individuals who are wrongly arrested because of mistaken identity to be deleted without the person having to file a petition for expungement.

    Today, Martinez’s proposal became law.

    “Individuals who were mistakenly arrested should not have difficulty clearing their names,” Martinez said. “We need to make it as easy as possible for them to get their reputation back and move on with their lives.”

    Prior to the new law, the Crime Identification Act allowed individuals who were mistakenly arrested but not charged to seek expungement of their records. However, they were required to pay a fee and file a petition.

    This will now change.

    Under Martinez’s legislation, a police chief, county sheriff or state’s attorney will be able to request an investigation into whether or not a person was wrongly arrested. If a mistake was made, that individual’s records must be deleted from the law enforcement agency’s records that made the arrest.

    House Bill 169 is effective January 1, 2016.

  • Martinez works to protect young people in DCFS care

    martinez courtSPRINGFIELD — With the goal of protecting youth, Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) sponsored legislation in the Senate that would give child care facilities more authority when providing temporary residential services to children in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

    Martinez’s proposal was signed into law today.

    “I sponsored this legislation because, as a result of many children being cared for in temporary facilities for longer periods of time, it is necessary to institute policies that will keep them safe and off the streets,” Martinez said.

    Under the new law, any organization authorized by DCFS to provide temporary care to children will be required to establish and enforce curfews, maintain appropriate staffing levels and provide activities that engage the youth in its care.

    Additionally, they will be responsible for coming up with a plan to locate and return youth to the facility if they run away.

    House Bill 1530 ensures that temporary residential facilities are more responsible for the children in their care and have more power to protect their well-being.

    The law will be effective Jan. 1, 2016.

  • Martinez’s legislation to fight youth unemployment becomes law

    martinez 73015SPRINGFIELD — Earlier this year, Senate Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) passed legislation out of the Senate that would create a commission to help young people find jobs and lower unemployment.

    Today, Martinez’s legislation was signed into law.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Illinois’ youth unemployment rate was 18.5 percent in 2012.

    “I am committed to helping young people in our state who struggle to find a job,” Martinez said. “The commission will focus on bringing together experts to come up with ways to help our youth find and keep employment.”

    Under HB 1490, a 17-member commission will be in charge of identifying concerns regarding the readiness and ability of young adults to find employment after their education is completed.

    Members of the commission are unpaid. Each legislative leader will be able to appoint four members to the commission.

    HB 1490 takes effect immediately.