Martinez State of the State AddressSPRINGFIELD — Senate Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s State of the State address in which he did not address President Trump’s immigration plans:

“It’s unfortunate that Governor Rauner did not use his State of the State address to stand up for the residents of our state who will be hurt by the president’s action on immigration. The governor did talk about bipartisanship, but if he truly wants bipartisanship then he should get behind the plan being worked on by the Senate that would get Illinois a budget that funds higher education and programs for seniors, the addicted and other vulnerable populations.

I want to voice my strong opposition to President Donald Trump’s positions on building a wall at our southern border and on sanctuary cities. This great nation was founded by immigrants.  A fair, humane treatment to newcomers to our nation is at the core of what it means to be an American. Mr. Trump’s actions go against who we are and what we believe in. We should build better mechanisms of understanding with our allies, friends and neighbors, not walls.

Concerning the president’s position on destroying sanctuary cities, he needs to understand his position on this issue will increase the uncertainty and fear many resident of Illinois feel. The president is not ‘making America great again,’ he is making Americans and immigrants feel fearful and unwelcome.

If the governor would stand up for his constituents instead of remaining silent about Trump’s immigration plans, the people of Illinois would be better off.”


Category: News Releases

Senate Term Leaders PhotoSPRINGFIELD — Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to the Illinois Senate adopting term limits for Senate leaders:

“Term limits for Senate leadership is the right thing to do. No one should be making a career out of being a legislative leader. For Illinois to function properly, it’s imperative that we have fresh ideas and new people leading state government. I hope the Illinois House will follow the Senate’s lead and adopt term limits for the Speaker of the House and the House Minority Leader.”

Under the term limits plan backed by Martinez, the Senate President and Senate Minority Leader would be limited to five terms apiece. Terms are for two years, so this would be a 10-year limit.

Yesterday’s action imposed term limits on leadership posts by Senate Rule, which has the effect of law in the Senate.


Category: News Releases

Senior Freeze ReleaseThe office of Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios has mailed Senior and Senior Freeze Exemption renewal applications for Tax Year 2016. Savings from these exemptions will appear as deductions on the 2017 Second Installment Property Tax Bills mailed this summer.

Nearly 300,000 applications were mailed to seniors who received the exemptions last year. The application deadline is Wednesday, February 8th and it is imperative that seniors return their application(s) in order to receive their exemption savings on their tax bills.

The Senior Exemption application is part of a booklet sent to eligible seniors. The booklet also contains the separate, income-based Senior Freeze Exemption application.

Seniors receiving the Senior Citizen Exemption automatically receive the Homeowner Exemption. Seniors receiving the Senior Freeze Exemption automatically receive both the Homeowner and Senior Citizen Exemptions.

Eligible seniors who have never applied for the Senior and/or Senior Freeze Exemptions in the past may visit the Assessor's web site at and download an application or contact the Assessor's Office at 312-443-7550 and request a form be mailed to them. Applications for the Homeowner Exemption are also available online. Applications for additional exemptions administered by the Assessor's Office will be available within the next few weeks.




Category: In The News

Martinez HB4330CHICAGO — A new law that will help students meet foreign language requirements when they apply for college becomes effective Jan. 1, 2017.

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

Under the new law, state universities and community colleges would have to accept the State Seal of Biliteracy as the equivalent of two years of foreign language learning taken during high school.

The State Seal of Biliteracy, which Martinez worked to establish, is awarded to high school students demonstrating proficiency in English and at least one other language.

“This law will help our students,” Martinez said. “We live in a global society, making it critically important for our economy and culture that bilingual education is promoted. Students attaining a State Seal of Biliteracy will now be guaranteed college credit for participating in the program.”

House Bill 4330 provides that the rules the Illinois State Board of Education establishes for the program must ensure that a student meets two years of foreign language requirements for college admissions purposes.

It’s optional for schools to offer a State Seal of Biliteracy to students. For the 2015-16 school year, 54 Illinois school districts were approved to award the State Seal of Biliteracy.

The law also requires state universities and community colleges to establish criteria to translate a State Seal of Biliteracy into course credit.

Category: News Releases

Office Information

Springfield Office:
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Springfield, IL 62706
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District Office:
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Chicago, IL 60618
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