Martinez Midwife PhotoSPRINGFIELD — A plan to license midwives in Illinois through the state’s Department of Financial and Professional Regulation was passed by the Illinois Senate’s Licensed Activities and Pensions Committee today.

Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) is the measure’s Senate sponsor.

“If a mother wants to deliver her child at home with the help of a midwife, then she should be able to make that choice,” Martinez said. “My plan will improve health care access and ensure that midwives have the training and licensing needed to participate in safely delivering babies.”

Under Martinez’s legislation, Senate Bill 1754, the Home Birth Safety Act would be established to provide midwives who are not nurse-midwives the ability to provide home birth services by establishing two-year licenses for certified professional midwives.

Martinez’s legislation is an initiative of the Illinois Council of Certified Professional Midwives.

“With the number of home births increasing, there is a real need to have professional licensing in place for midwives,” said Martinez. “Now is the time to license midwives in Illinois.”

In 31 states, midwives practice legally within the health care system. In Illinois, they practice outside of the system. Many mothers already seek to have a home birth, but approximately half of Illinois home births are attended by underground providers.

According to the Illinois Council of Certified Professional Midwives, home birth rates increased nationally by more than 77 percent between 2009 and 2014. In 2014, 57 Illinois counties had no obstetrical doctors.

Category: News Releases

Senate Bill 598 Press ReleaseSPRINGFIELD — 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) is sponsoring legislation to change residency requirements to be a University of Illinois student trustee.

“If a student is enrolled in the university and wants to run for student trustee, there should not be barriers preventing them from doing so,” Martinez said. “We need to make sure all college students have opportunities to grow and participate in leadership opportunities while they’re on campus.”

The student who inspired Martinez’s proposal 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 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, a student would have to provide proof of residence for the past six months and either a voter registration card or driver’s license/identification to demonstrate Illinois residency.

The University of Illinois is a proponent of the initiative.

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

“While the governor’s veto was disappointing, I’m not going to stop fighting for what’s best for our students,” Martinez said.

Senate Bill 598 was passed by the Illinois Senate’s Higher Education Committee yesterday and will now have to go before the full Illinois Senate for consideration.

Category: News Releases

Martinez Grand Bargain Photo March 1SPRINGFIELD — After the Senate Republicans did not continue voting on grand bargain budget proposals tonight, Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement:

“Senate President John Cullerton and Senate Democrats have worked tirelessly to compromise and come up with a budget agreement for the people of Illinois. But we can’t do it alone. The governor and Senate Republicans have failed to do their jobs. The fact that the Senate Republicans didn’t have the courage to vote tonight on grand bargain budget bills is cowardly and shows that they’re not serious about getting us out of our budget impasse. Shame on Governor Rauner and the members of his party he controls for failing to rise to the occasion and do what’s right for Illinois.”

Category: News Releases

Martinez Grand Bargain PhotoSPRINGFIELD — After voting to fund human services and higher education as part of a proposed Senate “grand bargain” package, Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement:

“Illinois has gone too long without a budget and needs one now. The harm not having a state budget is causing to human service organizations, college students and the state’s finances cannot continue. It is time to compromise and put the people first by getting a budget done. Today, as part of an effort to help people in my district and throughout Illinois, I voted to fund higher education and key human service programs that help our seniors, people dealing with addiction and victims of sexual abuse. I will continue working as hard as I can to get Illinois a budget.”

Senate Bill 6 provides the needed spending authorization to finish out the second half of the current budget year. Key components funded include higher education and human services.

 

Category: News Releases

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