CHICAGO - Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) released the following statement after Gov. JB Pritzker and SEIU Healthcare Illinois reached an agreement to implement rate increases and release previously withheld increases for more than 40,000 Department of Human Services low-wage home care and child care providers:

“Our child care providers and Home Services Program workers provide some of the most necessary services in our state, caring for our children and those with disabilities.

“And yet, for nearly two years, the former governor denied them a raise, even after he was legally obligated to do so.

“I am encouraged by the agreement reached by SEIU Healthcare and Gov. Pritzker to create a timeline for implementing their back pay and giving them their long overdue and well-deserved raise. It seems we once again have a governor who respects workers and the law.”

Category: News Releases

041310br0098 rSPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) is continuing her long-time advocacy for the Grow Your Own Teacher (GYOT) initiative by advancing legislation that expands the ability of schools and future teachers to participate in the program.

“Illinois is dealing with a teacher shortage, so we need to do all that we can to place dedicated teachers in schools,” Martinez said. “We especially must work to ensure students at schools that are traditionally hard to staff – like those in low-incomes areas – have the same access to quality education as anyone else.”

The Grow Your Own Teacher initiative is a program designed to train people to become teachers in hard-to-staff schools.

Martinez’s legislation would expand the definition of "eligible school" and "hard-to-staff" schools for the initiative to include early childhood programs in which no less than 40 percent of the children it serves are receiving subsidized care under the Department of Human Services' Child Care Assistance Program.

It would also extend eligibility for participation in the initiative to high school students enrolled in a dual credit course at a participating institution of higher education.

Senate Bill 244 is similar to legislation Martinez passed last year that then-Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed. It passed the Senate Higher Education Committee without opposition Tuesday and heads to the full Senate for consideration.

Category: News Releases

02192019CW2123 rSPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) is continuing her work to expand opportunities for students at the University of Illinois to run for the position of student trustee by amending the university’s residency status requirements.

“Our institutions of higher education should be about promoting leadership opportunities,” Martinez said. “Being a student trustee is one good way students can serve and enhance their skills. And students who serve in these positions will graduate with an appreciation for the importance of civic engagement.”

Martinez first introduced similar legislation in 2016 after being contacted by an undocumented student who was unable to run for student trustee, 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, a student would have to live in Illinois for six months and either have a driver’s license or ID card, or register to vote in Illinois.

Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the plan in 2016, and the House failed to call it for a vote after it was reintroduced and passed the Senate in 2017.

Senate Bill 172 passed the Senate Higher Education Committee on Tuesday and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Category: News Releases

SPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement after Gov. JB Pritzker delivered his first budget address Wednesday:

“Gov. Pritzker has proposed a balanced budget that takes seriously our commitment to restoring stability to Illinois after years of uncertainty.

“I was glad to see the governor prioritize education by exceeding the minimum amount required by our new school funding formula and by investing in early childhood and higher education.

“Even though he did not mention it in his budget address, I know Gov. Pritzker has made a commitment to immigrants in our state and I look forward to talking with him more about providing and protecting vital immigrant services.”

Category: News Releases

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