HB88 rCHICAGO — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) joined Gov. JB Pritzker and advocates today as her legislation providing relief from high interest on consumer debt was signed into law.

The bill, which passed both the House and the Senate with bipartisan support, takes two steps to lower the financial burden on Illinoisans struggling with these debts.

First, it lowers the interest rate on consumer debt under $25,000 from 9% to 5%. It also lowers the timeframe in which debt collectors can collect on a judgment from 26 to 17 years, preventing families from being trapped by decades-old debts.

“Debt can be a real, crushing thing that keeps people trapped in a cycle of poverty,” Martinez said. “By making it easier for people to make payments, we are not only making it more likely for the debt to be paid but also helping people move toward financial independence.”

According to the Heartland Alliance, a nonprofit anti-poverty organization, 1 in 3 Illinois residents is in the debt collection process.

House Bill 88 takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

Category: News Releases

3225419 ml rSPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez’s measure expanding the ability of schools and future teachers to participate in the Grow Your Own Teacher program became law today.

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

“Illinois is dealing with a teacher shortage, so we need to do all that we can to place dedicated teachers in schools,” Martinez (D-Chicago) 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 new law will 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 will 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.

House Bill 35 is effective immediately.

Category: News Releases

SPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) released the following statement today as thousands continue to protest Puerto Rico’s governor after leaked text messages uncovered crude, sexist and homophobic remarks made by him and others:

“I’m truly disappointed in the disparaging remarks made by Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello and his allies towards females, members of the LGBTQ community and our beloved island, among other things.

“Let’s be clear, sexist and homophobic slurs don’t have a place in our public discourse and only belittle the positions we’re elected to serve. Our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters are angry, disappointed and feel disrespected by their government, and these feelings shouldn’t be ignored.

“Puerto Rico has had many challenges in the past few years, and this situation greatly distracts from the social and economic problems that are facing the island today. I am asking Governor Rossello to put the well-being of Puerto Rico first and consider what is best to restore the joy, optimism and love our people are known for. Governor Rossello, listen to your people and do the right thing.”

Category: News Releases

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