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Martinez initiative for undocumented students advances

martinez 040516SPRINGFIELD — Undocumented students in Illinois are currently ineligible to receive state-based financial aid.

Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) is working hard to make sure that changes.

Under legislation sponsored by Martinez, known as the “Student Access Bill,” undocumented students meeting the conditions necessary to be deemed Illinois residents for tuition purposes would be eligible to access state-based financial aid at Illinois’ four-year public universities.

“Higher education offers a pathway to a better life, and all qualified students deserve a fair shot at competing for assistance to pay for college,” Martinez said.

The measure does not require the state to increase spending for higher education or create a new scholarship program. It simply gives public universities the authority to offer financial aid to more students.

 

If Martinez’s proposal becomes law, it is estimated that 1,500 students from Illinois’ four-year public universities would receive new scholarship opportunities.

Financial aid includes any state aid or benefit funded or administered by the state, state agencies, or public institutions and universities, such as scholarships, grants, awards and room and board.

The legislation does not include access to grants provided through the Monetary Award Program (MAP).

Senate Bill 2196 is an initiative of the University of Illinois in conjunction with the Latino Policy Forum. Former Gov. Jim Edgar, other elected officials, public universities, business and civic leaders, faith based leaders, labor unions and non-profit organizations back the legislation.

Martinez passed Senate Bill 2196 out of the Higher Education Committee today.

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; Subcommittee on Gov. Operations; Pension Investments Special Com. On (Co-Chairperson); Revenue (Vice-Chairperson).

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