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

Martinez SB 308 ReleaseSPRINGFIELD — An initiative that would allow Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients, known as dreamers, to become a licensed pharmacist is being sponsored by Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago).

Today, Martinez passed the legislation out of the Senate’s Licensed Activities and Pensions Committee.

“Given the investment we have made in our dreamers, it is only natural to open the gates of opportunity for employment in a career in heavy demand in Illinois,” Martinez said. “These kids have a proven record of academic and personal achievement and are eager to serve their communities. They should be allowed to pursue a career that benefits the health of the public.”

Senate Bill 308 is an initiative of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational fund (MALDEF).

No other profession regulated by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation requires proof of immigration status to obtain licensure. Martinez’s legislation simply brings pharmacy in line with requirements for other professions.

Former-President Barack Obama’s executive order created DACA. Under DACA, people brought into the country unauthorized as children are allowed to stay in the country to work and attend college. 

           

Category: News Releases

Martinez Midwife PhotoSPRINGFIELD — A plan to license midwives in Illinois through the state’s Department of Financial and Professional Regulation was passed by the Illinois Senate’s Licensed Activities and Pensions Committee today.

Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) is the measure’s Senate sponsor.

“If a mother wants to deliver her child at home with the help of a midwife, then she should be able to make that choice,” Martinez said. “My plan will improve health care access and ensure that midwives have the training and licensing needed to participate in safely delivering babies.”

Under Martinez’s legislation, Senate Bill 1754, the Home Birth Safety Act would be established to provide midwives who are not nurse-midwives the ability to provide home birth services by establishing two-year licenses for certified professional midwives.

Martinez’s legislation is an initiative of the Illinois Council of Certified Professional Midwives.

“With the number of home births increasing, there is a real need to have professional licensing in place for midwives,” said Martinez. “Now is the time to license midwives in Illinois.”

In 31 states, midwives practice legally within the health care system. In Illinois, they practice outside of the system. Many mothers already seek to have a home birth, but approximately half of Illinois home births are attended by underground providers.

According to the Illinois Council of Certified Professional Midwives, home birth rates increased nationally by more than 77 percent between 2009 and 2014. In 2014, 57 Illinois counties had no obstetrical doctors.

Category: News Releases

Senate Bill 598 Press ReleaseSPRINGFIELD — 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) is sponsoring legislation to change residency requirements to be a University of Illinois student trustee.

“If a student is enrolled in the university and wants to run for student trustee, there should not be barriers preventing them from doing so,” Martinez said. “We need to make sure all college students have opportunities to grow and participate in leadership opportunities while they’re on campus.”

The student who inspired Martinez’s proposal 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 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, a student would have to provide proof of residence for the past six months and either a voter registration card or driver’s license/identification to demonstrate Illinois residency.

The University of Illinois is a proponent of the initiative.

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

“While the governor’s veto was disappointing, I’m not going to stop fighting for what’s best for our students,” Martinez said.

Senate Bill 598 was passed by the Illinois Senate’s Higher Education Committee yesterday and will now have to go before the full Illinois Senate for consideration.

Category: News Releases

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