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Martinez

  • Automatic voter registration moves forward in Illinois (VIDEO, AUDIO)

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  • Delgado, Martinez, Noland join forces to help Latino Treatment Center (VIDEO)

    martinez latin trmt ctrSenators William Delgado (D-Chicago), Michael Noland (D-Elgin) and Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) recently joined Adriana Trino, Executive Director of the Latino Treatment Center, to plead for the agency to receive money it’s owed from the state.

    The Latino Treatment Center is owed over $59,000 from the state and will begin closing its facilities in June if it doesn’t receive payments.

  • Democrats reject Rauner’s empty promise of CPS funding, demand real money to fix his mistake

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    SPRINGFIELD — Months after Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a measure that would have secured funding for Chicago Public Schools, Illinois Senate Democrats rejected his attempt to promise $215 million to the school system without any funding source to provide it.

    “This measure would have made yet another promise to Chicago students without taking the necessary steps to ever follow through on it,” said Sen. Jacqueline Collins, D-Chicago. “We already approved a measure last year – which the governor saw fit to veto – that would have addressed this very problem in a responsible way, with the necessary funding. As it is, this is another broken promise in the making.”

  • Documents on ed funding published by governor's political allies (VIDEO)

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  • Few specifics, missed opportunities in governor's budget speech (VIDEO)

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  • Governor vetoes MAP, community college funding for Illinois students

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  • Hispanics: Honoring our heritage, building our future (VIDEO)

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  • Honoring Hispanic heritage in America

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  • Illinois to test locking devices for painkillers

    martinez courtSPRINGFIELD — Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) sponsored legislation in the Senate that will make Illinois the first state in the nation to launch a pilot program to provide locking devices on prescription vials for painkillers containing hydrocodone, also known as Vicodin or Norco.   

    Today, her proposal was signed into law.

    “Too many Illinoisans become addicted to these powerful medications,” Martinez said. “This legislation will help prevent individuals who haven’t obtained a written prescription from using hydrocodone, a dangerous drug when used without a doctor’s supervision.”

    Physicians often prescribe painkillers such as hydrocodone for short- and long-term pain.

    Under Martinez’s plan, participating pharmacies in Illinois will place numerical locking devices on pharmacy prescriptions with hydrocodone.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control, drug overdose death rates in the United States have more than tripled since 1990. Prescription painkillers cause nearly three out of four prescription drug overdoses.

    In Chicago, hydrocodone is the most available prescription painkiller to non-prescribed users.

    The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation will be charged with implementing the new program.               

  • Latino Caucus supports Illinois National Guard troops deployed to Puerto Rico

    aquino 110917SPRINGFIELD-Illinois recently sent more than 100 Illinois Army National Guard troops to assist in the rebuilding of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, as many on the island continue to live without electricity or clean water.

    “Illinois has a large population of Puerto Ricans, and sending support to those who are struggling in their homeland is the right thing to do. I thank our troops who have been deployed to help as the people of Puerto Rico continue to rebuild,” said Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago), Co-Chairman of the Latino Caucus.

  • Law sponsored by Martinez gives former offenders a second chance

    martinez 052016CHICAGO — A new law that gives ex-offenders a chance to pursue a career in the health care field becomes effective Jan. 1, 2017.

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

    “I’m a believer in second chances, especially when someone has committed a non-violent offense at a young age,” Martinez said. “We’ve taken a needed step forward by giving former offenders an opportunity to prove that they are rehabilitated and be able to petition the state for a health care license.” 

  • Legislation protecting immigrant communities moves forward

    martinez 040517SPRINGFIELD — After legislation that would protect immigrants and restore trust between immigrant communities and local police was passed by the Illinois Senate Executive Committee today, Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement:

    “Here in Illinois, we need to lead the way in promoting trust between the immigrant community and law enforcement and protecting immigrants from federal overreach. That’s why moving this initiative forward today was positive. I want the immigrant community to know that I have their back and will continue fighting so that no one is deported when seeking medical treatment at the hospital or dropping their kids off at school.”

    Martinez is a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 31, which would create the Illinois Trust Act. Certain components of the measure are listed below:

    • Clarifies that state and local police are not deputized immigration agents and therefore are not expected to expend resources enforcing or complying with federal civil immigration detainers and administrative warrants.
    • Prohibits law enforcement agencies from using state resources to create discriminatory federal registries based on race, national origin, religion or other protected classes.
    • Establishes safe zones at schools, medical facilities, courts and properties operated by the Illinois secretary of state, where federal immigration enforcement would not be admitted without a valid criminal warrant.

    The Illinois Trust Act will have to be approved by the Illinois Senate before being considered by the Illinois House.

  • Legislative Latino Caucus stresses concerns over budget impasse (VIDEO)

    martinez sos 012716Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) joined members of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus at a press conference to discuss the negative impact the governor’s failure to approve a budget is having on Latinos.

    “I’m frustrated by how many children, families and college students are being hurt by the budget impasse,” Martinez said. “I call on the governor to work with us in a bipartisan manner to put a stop to this.”

     

    Latino college students are feeling the brunt of the governor not authorizing a higher education budget. Students across Illinois rely on the state’s Monetary Award Program (MAP) to pay for college and are now worried whether or not they can afford to continue their education.

  • MAP grants, community colleges funding head to governor (AUDIO)

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  • Martinez applauds TVDL policy update

    martinez tvdlMajority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) joined Secretary of State Jesse White, members of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus and partner organizations this week to discuss a positive update being made by Secretary of State (SOS) facilities for Temporary Visitors Driver’s Licenses (TVDLs).

    Starting July 1, 2016, all SOS facilities, with the exception of Chicago North and Chicago West, will be able to process TVDLs without requiring an appointment.

    “I’m grateful to Secretary White and his staff for establishing more customer friendly procedures for immigrants wanting to obtain a TVDL,” said Martinez, a champion for the immigrant community. “Now, instead of having to go through the extra step of having to schedule a meeting, all someone has to do is come to an SOS office at a time that is convenient for them.”

  • Martinez appointed to Human Trafficking Task Force

    Martinez04212016Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) was appointed by Illinois Senate President John Cullerton to the state’s Human Trafficking Task Force yesterday.

    “There have been too many victims in Illinois and more has to be done to address this problem,” Martinez said. “I look forward to working with members of the task force on developing strategies for preventing human trafficking and protecting the rights and safety of victims.”

    According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, there have been 837 cases of human trafficking in Illinois since 2007.

    The task force will conduct a study on human trafficking in Illinois and hold hearings to develop a state plan to address human trafficking. A report of recommendations must be submitted to the governor and General Assembly by June 30, 2017.

    Martinez and other members of the task force will serve without compensation. The task force was created by HB 2822, legislation Martinez co-sponsored that was signed into law this summer.

    If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center toll-free hotline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-373-7888 to speak with a specially trained Hotline Advocate. Support is provided in more than 200 languages.

  • Martinez calls for pension systems to promote diversity during hearing

    martienz youthemplCHICAGO- Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) participated in a two-day Senate Special Committee on Pensions and Investments Hearing this week regarding the diversity of pension investment managers.

    “It became apparent at this hearing that more work needs to be done by public employee pension systems to meet diversity goals,” Martinez said. “I’m particularly concerned that the numbers for Latinos are low.”

  • Martinez calls on Rauner executives to stop trashing CPS

    martinez 051917SPRINGFIELD — Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) criticized Secretary of Education Beth Purvis for pitting the students in Chicago Public Schools against students in the rest of the state in her opposition to the Senate’s recently passed school funding reform bill.

    “Governor Rauner and his administration think that some children don’t deserve the same chance. Apparently the children in Chicago Public Schools did something wrong, by being lower-income, by being black or brown, and don’t deserve equal opportunity,” Martinez said at a press conference this morning. “It is our responsibility as legislators to make sure that the circumstances children are born into do not dictate the education they receive. It is our job to stand up for every child in our state.”

    Martinez joined several other Democratic senators in calling for the Executive Inspector General of Illinois to investigate the distribution of state materials from Rauner’s administration to a political group funded by the governor’s campaign.

    State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), the bill’s sponsor, said at the press conference that documents incorrectly portraying the funding schools in Kankakee County would receive were sent to a politically-motivated publication. Manar had seen the documents on Thursday in a meeting with Rauner and had pointed out their errors.

    The Rauner administration has been vocal in its opposition to Manar’s legislation, claiming it “bails out” Chicago Public Schools.

    “I’m tired of hearing the term ‘bailing out CPS,’” Martinez said. “Let me remind Governor Rauner and Beth Purvis that the Chicago Public School District is the third-largest school district in the nation. Shame on the administration that cannot look at this picture for all children across the state and see that every child deserves the same education.”

    SB 1 replaces the state’s current school funding formula with an evidence-based model. It  passed the Senate 35-18 on Wednesday with no Republican support.

  • Martinez continues fighting for CPS to get equal funding

    martinez 041316SPRINGFIELD — Millions of dollars could be on the way to Chicago Public Schools under a plan Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) recently voted for.

    “Chicago students deserve the best education possible and that can only occur if CPS receives its fair share of state dollars,” Martinez said. “Education funding reform is the right thing to do so we can get needed dollars in the classroom for our students.”

    The education funding reform legislation Martinez voted for, Senate Bill 231, is designed to ensure that state funding for education is distributed based on student need.

    Under the plan, CPS would gain millions more in funding next year than what it receives this year. The measure is awaiting approval in the Illinois House.

    Martinez joined thousands of advocates at a rally in the Capitol today to push for passage of education funding reform.

    “Our message today was loud and clear: We can’t wait any longer to adopt a fair way to fund our schools,” said Martinez. “I am going to continuing fighting as hard as I can for the students I represent.”

  • Martinez demands resolution to issues at Logan Correctional Center (VIDEO)

    martinez120116SPRINGFIELD — In response to a new study funded by the Department of Justice that found dire conditions among the inmate population at Logan Correctional Center, Majority Caucus Whip and Latino Caucus Co-Chair Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) released the following statement:

    “I was strongly opposed to the closing of the Dwight correctional facility in 2013 and the transfer of female inmates, many of whom are from the Chicago area, to a state prison in Lincoln. As the new report states, this decision has put inmates and Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) staff in untenable conditions.