Martinez Senate bill 2536 OverrideSPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Senate voted to override the governor’s veto of legislation that would have protected health care benefits for child care providers.

Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) sponsored the measure to prevent the governor from harming the state’s child care system.

“Our child care workers are some of the most important employees we have in Illinois,” Martinez said. “They care for our children, and it’s important that we invest in their success, treat them fairly and ensure they get the health care they need and deserve.”

The Illinois Department of Human Services already provides health insurance to qualified child care providers. However, Martinez sponsored her legislation because of concern that the Rauner administration wanted to eliminate health insurance for child care employees.

These concerns follow the cuts the governor made last year to the state’s Child Care Assistance Program.

Of the thousands of workers that would be protected under Martinez’s proposal, the majority of them are women.

“Based on how the governor has acted in the past and his anti-labor positions, it’s important to have a law in place that prevents his administration from having an opportunity to take away benefits from workers,” Martinez said.

Martinez’s legislation also updates training requirements for child care providers to ensure Illinois is compliant with new federal guidelines.

Martinez worked on Senate Bill 2536 with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

It will now be up to the Illinois House to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 2536.



Category: News Releases

Senate Bill 250 override PhotoSPRINGFIELD — After the Illinois Senate approved an override of the governor’s veto of automatic voter registration, Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement:

I proudly voted once again today to bring automatic voter registration to Illinois. There is no reason the governor should have vetoed this common sense plan that will make the voter registration process more efficient and open the doors of democracy to eligible voters.

In light of how many people did not vote in the recent election, it is even more imperative that we takes steps to make it as easy as possible for people to vote and participate in our democracy.

Under the plan Martinez supported, when a qualified voter provides all of the information necessary for voter registration to a government agency, he or she would automatically be registered to vote. Voters who wish to opt out of automatic voter registration could do so.

Martinez co-sponsored Senate Bill 250 in the Illinois Senate.

The Illinois House will now have to approve an override of the governor’s veto to ensure automatic voter registration can become law.


Category: News Releases

Senate Bill 42 PhotoCHICAGO — Legislation that would give ex-offenders a chance to pursue a career in the health care field became law today.

Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) sponsored the measure in the Illinois Senate.

“Oftentimes, people make a mistake at a young age that can prevent them from being able to pursue a career and fulfill their potential,” Martinez said. “If an ex-offender is able to rehabilitate themselves, then they deserve an opportunity to be employed in the health care field.”

Under the new law Martinez championed, health care professionals who have had their licenses revoked or denied due to a past felony conviction could petition the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) to restore or issue their license.

"It's been a long road," said Carlos Romero, a constituent of Martinez’s and respiratory therapist who could have his license restored because of the new law. "I want to thank Senator Martinez for listening to my story and fighting for a solution."

When deciding if a person should be granted a license, IDFPR must take into account the seriousness of the crime, prior disciplinary actions by state and federal agencies and the date of the conviction among other factors. The department may refuse to issue or restore any license that has been revoked.

"This law gives people a real opportunity to use their talents and have meaningful careers in health care, regardless of their past," said Quintin Williams, FORCE leader with the Community Renewal Society and member of the Restoring Rights and Opportunities Coalition of Illinois.

IDFPR would not be able to restore or issue a license to anyone who has committed a sex crime. Anyone who has committed a sex crime or is required to register as a sex offender would be banned for life from receiving a health care license.

Senate Bill 42 is effective Jan. 1, 2017.


Category: News Releases

Martinez Family Wellness and Back to School Fair PhotoCHICAGO — Hundreds of children and adults attended Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez’s (D-Chicago) annual Family Wellness and Back to School Fair last week.

At the event, children got free backpacks, school supplies, physicals, immunizations, dental screenings and other services. Adults were able to receive health screenings, too, and learn about services offered by government agencies and local organizations.

“I enjoyed meeting the children and adults who attended this event, and I would like to thank all of the vendors that participated,” Martinez said. “The services offered ensure our children are ready to start school and that both adults and children are healthy and up to date on wellness screenings.”


Category: News Releases

Office Information

Springfield Office:
413 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
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(217) 782-3088 FAX
District Office:
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Chicago, IL 60618
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