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

Senate Bill 250 VetoCHICAGO — After the governor vetoed legislation today that would have brought automatic voter registration to Illinois, Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement:

Automatic voter registration has been implemented successfully in other states and been proven to decrease barriers to voting and save taxpayer dollars. That’s why the governor’s veto is disappointing. Our democracy is stronger when we make it more convenient for people to get registered to vote and have a direct say in who represents them. While the veto is a setback, I am hopeful that advocates of the bill can continue to work with the governor on legislation he can agree to that would bring automatic voter registration to Illinois.

Under the plan that was vetoed, 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.

Other states that have adopted automatic voter registration have seen increases in voter registration rates. Since Oregon's law took effect in January 2016, its registration rates are nearly four times higher than they were in 2014. California’s automatic registration law is expected to add an additional 6.7 million voters to the voting rolls.

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

Category: News Releases

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