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Martinez applauds SCOTUS ruling on census citizenship question

martinez 022019SPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) released the following statement today after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that there cannot be a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

“I am glad the Supreme Court acted in the best interest of all Americans by ruling against the Trump administration’s citizenship question. The proposed question was intended to frighten immigrants and discourage them from participating in the census, when full participation is vital to ensuring states get adequate representation in Congress and federal funding. The census is intended to be a full count of everyone residing in the United States, not a tool that the current president can use to further intimidate and terrorize immigrants.”

Martinez appointed to Census Advisory Panel to ensure full count

martinez 022019SPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) announced that she has been appointed to the bipartisan, bicameral Census Advisory Panel, which will work to reach people in hard-to-count areas during the 2020 Census.

The panel was created as part of an executive order signed by Gov. JB Pritzker today to ensure a full census count in 2020. The order also establishes a Census Office within the Department of Human Services that will administer grants and conduct outreach and education about the census.

“I am thankful that the governor is taking the upcoming census so seriously and working to make sure that every resident in Illinois is counted,” Martinez said. “The consequences of an undercount would affect everyone in our state, so it is important that everyone be able to participate.”

The census is used to determine representation in Congress and federal funding, so Illinois could potentially lose up to two congressional seats and billions in federal dollars if there is an undercount in 2020.

The 2020 Census officially begins on April 1, 2020.

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.

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