Senate Bill 598 PhotoSPRINGFIELD — 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) passed legislation out of the Illinois Senate yesterday to change residency requirements to be a University of Illinois student trustee.

“It’s important that students who are accepted and enrolled in the University of Illinois can run for the position of student trustee if they want to,” Martinez said. “Our institutions of higher education should be about promoting leadership opportunities. Being a student trustee is one good way students can serve and enhance their skills.”

Martinez’s proposal was inspired by a student who 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 is a proponent of the initiative.

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, to demonstrate Illinois residency and be able to run for student trustee, a student would have to meet two out of the following three factors: proof of residence for the past six months, a voter registration card and a driver’s license/identification.

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

“I have worked with the governor’s office on this legislation,” Martinez said. “I am hopeful that the Illinois House will pass the measure, and the governor will sign in it into law.”

Senate Bill 598 now moves to the Illinois House for consideration.

Category: News Releases

Trust Act Passes PhotoSPRINGFIELD — After legislation that would protect immigrants and restore trust between immigrant communities and local police was passed by the Illinois Senate Executive Committee today, Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement:

“Here in Illinois, we need to lead the way in promoting trust between the immigrant community and law enforcement and protecting immigrants from federal overreach. That’s why moving this initiative forward today was positive. I want the immigrant community to know that I have their back and will continue fighting so that no one is deported when seeking medical treatment at the hospital or dropping their kids off at school.”

Martinez is a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 31, which would create the Illinois Trust Act. Certain components of the measure are listed below:

◦Clarifies that state and local police are not deputized immigration agents and therefore are not expected to expend resources enforcing or complying with federal civil immigration detainers and administrative warrants.

◦Prohibits law enforcement agencies from using state resources to create discriminatory federal registries based on race, national origin, religion or other protected classes.

◦Establishes safe zones at schools, medical facilities, courts and properties operated by the Illinois secretary of state, where federal immigration enforcement would not be admitted without a valid criminal warrant.

The Illinois Trust Act will have to be approved by the Illinois Senate before being considered by the Illinois House.

Category: News Releases

Deportation Fears ReleaseCHICAGO — In response to a report that undocumented immigrants who have been victims of domestic violence aren’t showing up to court because they fear deportation, Senate Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement:

“It breaks my heart to see women victimized twice, once when they suffered domestic violence and then when they refuse to report their perpetrators for fear of being deported thanks to President Trump’s immigration policies.

That’s why I support the Cook County State’s Attorney’s statements on the issue and applaud her for working with immigration advocacy groups to prosecute criminals who prey on the undocumented. I have fought against domestic violence my entire career, and I’m ready to support our State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx’s efforts in any way I can in the legislature.

We have to create an environment in which domestic violence victims feel safe reporting the crimes committed against them so offenders can be brought to justice. Trump’s policies have done exactly the opposite, and it is something that I find unacceptable in Illinois. I stand ready to work at protecting immigrant victims of domestic violence.”

Category: News Releases

Martinez Releases on SB 2172SPRINGFIELD — Senate Republicans are offering an empty promise to Chicago schools in an attempt to cover up for Gov. Bruce Rauner’s ill-advised veto of a plan that would have solved a problem for the financially stressed school district, said Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago).

“All this does is sink the state $215 million further in debt by promising CPS that there’s a check in the mail that we know may never come,” Martinez said. “At best, this is a thinly veiled attempt to solve the governor’s public relations problems with CPS, but the reality is that it won’t get a dollar in the classroom anytime soon, and certainly not in time to help. CPS students, teachers and administrators deserve better than this.”

Legislation sponsored by State Sen. Michael Connelly (R-Naperville), Senate Bill 2172, commits the state to provide $215.2 million to Chicago Public Schools. However, it isn’t tied to any funding.

“What we’ve got here is legislation that would blow a $215.2 million hole in Rauner’s already unbalanced budget for this year,” Martinez said. “This comes at a time when the state is already $13 billion behind in paying its bills.”

Senate Bill 2172 could be heard in tomorrow’s Senate Executive Committee.

Category: News Releases

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