SPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement after the Senate voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the VOICES Act:

“This legislation should have been easy for any governor to sign.

“What it does is simple – it helps people who are fleeing violence and human trafficking get to a safe place. Beyond that, it helps our law enforcement agencies investigate and prosecute those crimes by empowering victims to work with police.

“Everyone deserves justice, no matter their skin color or their immigration status. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue, and I am glad we were able to override the governor’s politically motivated veto.”

Category: News Releases

martinez 041118CHICAGO — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez issued the following statement today on President Trump’s desire to end birthright citizenship by executive order:


“This is just another example of the president saying something outrageous to drum up support. The president alone does not have the authority to override the Constitution. He knows this, and yet he is once again stoking fear and division.


“What he is proposing is not only unconstitutional, it is un-American. At its core, America is about welcoming people and giving them a chance at a better life. We must continue to fight this racist rhetoric and ensure the immigrant families in our state know they are welcome.”

Category: News Releases

08222018CM0014 rCHICAGO —All qualified applicants are now eligible for professional licenses, regardless of their immigration status, under a new law sponsored by Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago).

A federal law passed in 1996 makes non-citizens ineligible for state-issued professional licenses, but allows individual states to pass legislation granting licenses to non-citizens.

“Immigrants contribute to our state by working hard and paying taxes,” Martinez said. “If someone wants to further their career by becoming a licensed professional, we need to do all we can to support that.”

The new law deletes a provision in the Pharmacy Practice Act that requires an individual to submit evidence that they are a United States citizen or legally admitted immigrant before receiving a license. It also requires the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to allow an applicant to use a taxpayer identification number as an alternative to a Social Security number.

Senate Bill 3109 takes effect on Jan. 1, 2019.


Category: News Releases

CHICAGO — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez spoke out strongly today against Gov. Bruce Rauner’s decision to veto her legislation expanding the Grow Your Own Teacher initiative.

“I truly cannot understand why Gov. Rauner would choose to veto a measure that would help address Illinois’ teacher shortage,” Martinez (D-Chicago) said.

“The Grow Your Own Teacher program is an investment in Illinois’ future. It encourages and provides support for people studying to become teachers. It places teachers in low-income schools that are often difficult to staff. I don’t see a downside.

“The governor may say he cares about improving the education system in our state, but his actions show otherwise.”

The measure would have extended eligibility for the Grow Your Own Teacher initiative to high school students enrolled at dual-credit courses at participating colleges and universities and to all pre-K teachers, not just those teaching at public schools.

The initiative provides financial, academic and emotional support to people studying to become teachers. After graduation, participants commit to teaching at least five years at a high-needs school or in a high-needs teaching position, usually at schools with a high percentage of low-income students.

Category: News Releases

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