011207br0186 rSPRINGFIELD — Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) said Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of legislation leveling the playing field among businesses competing for state contracts is a blow to local and state business owners.

“This is a governor who claims he is pro-business, but his actions show otherwise,” said Martinez, who sponsored the measure in the Senate. “He is favoring large corporations over the small businesses that are so vital to our state’s economy.”

Rauner issued a veto last Friday of legislation that aims to stop businesses that move to foreign countries to avoid paying state taxes from entering into state contracts.

The Illinois State Treasurer’s Office supported the legislation, saying state contracts should be awarded to local and state businesses that pay their fair share of Illinois income taxes.

"Governor Rauner's veto sends the wrong message to American corporations that engage in offshore tax avoidance schemes," said State Treasurer Michael Frerichs. "Companies that use these unfair tactics to shift taxes onto other Illinois citizens and businesses should not be rewarded with lucrative state contracts."

The measure includes exceptions for companies for which the state contract is awarded as a sole source procurement or companies that are purchasing medical products and/or drugs.

House Bill 3419 received bipartisan support in both Houses and was sent to the governor at the end of June.

Category: News Releases

0914a034x rSPRINGFIELD — Drivers can now apply for a driver’s license that meets federal ID requirements and makes it easier for them to fly, with Gov. Bruce Rauner signing legislation today that Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) advanced out of the Senate earlier this year.

House Bill 395, which Martinez sponsored in the Senate, creates a two-tiered REAL ID system under which applicants for drivers’ licenses and identification cards may choose to apply for either a REAL ID-compliant license/ID card or a non-compliant license/ID card. Becoming REAL ID-compliant is a federal requirement.

“The two-tiered system gives people the option to decide what’s best for them,” Martinez said. “If someone doesn’t need to fly or simply chooses to not go with the REAL ID-compliant license/ID card, then there is an option that will work for them.”

Illinois has been taking strides to become fully REAL ID-compliant and has an extension from the federal government to become compliant by October 2017. However, the Department of Homeland Security has said that by January, 2018, passengers with a driver’s license issued in a state that is not compliant with the REAL ID Act will have to show an alternative form of identification to board a plane.

Under the new law, applicants for REAL ID-compliant identification must present documents including a certified copy of their birth certificate and immigration documents or a U.S. passport. Non-compliant licenses and ID cards will be issued pursuant to current requirements.

“Since the federal government is requiring Illinois to become REAL ID-compliant, the question becomes how to best go about doing this,” Martinez said. “The two-tiered system, which has been used in other states, is the best way for Illinois to have a system in place that meets the needs of our citizens.”

States such as Arizona, Nevada, West Virginia and Wisconsin offer the two options. In Wisconsin, only 22 percent of citizens have chosen to apply for the REAL ID-compliant card. Wisconsin officials have stated that many citizens who do not fly or visit federal facilities have opted for the noncompliant card.  

The federal REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, establishes standards for issuing identification cards and prevents federal agencies from accepting identification cards from states that have not implemented the act’s requirements.

House Bill 395 takes effect immediately.  

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Category: News Releases


SPRINGFIELD — Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago 20th) released the following statement after voting to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1, legislation reforming Illinois’ worst-in-the nation school funding formula:

“I voted to uphold Senate Bill 1 today because the nearly 400,000 students in Chicago deserve a quality education just as much as every other student in the state

“Our current school funding system disproportionately harms minority and low-income students. The governor’s plan does nothing to fix that. In fact, it makes the situation worse by taking nearly $500 million from Chicago Public Schools.

The governor’s plan pits Chicago against the rest of the state to score political points. Our children are not political pawns, and we must support the only plan that ensures a fair and equitable education for all students.”

Category: News Releases

SPRINGFIELD — Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago 20th) released the following statement after Gov. Bruce Rauner issued an amendatory veto on Senate Bill 1, legislation reforming Illinois’ worst-in-the nation school funding formula:

“I am deeply disappointed that Gov. Rauner failed to stand up for students today. He claims to care about education, and yet he rejected legislation that would fix our broken school funding system and provide an equal opportunity at education for every child in our state.

“Even worse, the governor’s continues to use our children as political pawns to pit different parts of the state against one another by spreading false claims about the measure giving preference to Chicago schools.

“Despite the governor’s unwillingness to compromise, I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to fight for a fair education for all our students.”

Category: News Releases

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