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Martinez expands eligibility for Grow Your Own Teacher program

martinez 053018SPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) passed legislation out of the Senate yesterday expanding the Grow Your Own Teacher initiative, a program designed to train people to become teachers in hard-to-staff schools.

The measure extends eligibility for the program to high school students enrolled at dual-credit courses at participating colleges and universities and to all pre-K teachers, not just those teaching at public schools.

“We have a great need for teachers in our state, especially in early childhood education,” Martinez said. “If we have people willing to teach, especially in low-income areas, we should help them.”

The Grow Your Own Teacher initiative provides financial, academic and emotional support to people studying to become teachers. After graduation, participants commit to teaching at least five years at a high-needs school or in a high-needs teaching position, usually at schools with a high percentage of low-income students.

House Bill 4882 passed both the House and the Senate and now heads to the governor’s desk. 

Martinez seeks to expand professional licenses to all immigrants

martinez 042618CHICAGO — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) passed a measure yesterday that makes all qualified applicants eligible for professional licenses, regardless of their immigration status.

A federal law passed in 1996 makes non-citizens ineligible for state-issued professional licenses, but allows individual states to pass legislation granting licenses to non-citizens.

“Immigrants contribute to our state by working hard and paying taxes,” Martinez said. “If someone wants to further their career by becoming a licensed professional, we need to do all we can to support that.”

The legislation deletes a provision in the Pharmacy Practice Act that requires an individual to submit evidence that they are a United States citizen or legally admitted immigrant before receiving a license. It also requires the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to allow an applicant to use a taxpayer identification number as an alternative to a Social Security number.

Senate Bill 3109 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and now heads to the House for consideration.

Martinez measure requires Spanish notification of landline termination (VIDEO)

martinez 042318SPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) passed legislation today that ensures Spanish-speaking Illinoisans are kept up to date on changes to their phone service.

The measure would require AT&T to provide notice in both English and Spanish before they disconnect a resident’s landline.

“Studies show that low-income and minority communities are more likely to use landline phone service,” Martinez said. “Everyone should get fair notice of a decision to terminate service so they can either make other arrangements or appeal the decision.”

Martinez to Rauner: Sending troops to border would be a mistake

martinez 041118CHICAGO — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following response today to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s statement that he would comply if President Donald Trump orders the Illinois National Guard to the Mexican border:

“Sending the military to the border is yet another example of the president’s racist attitude towards immigrants. He intends to treat them like dangerous criminals rather than hardworking people looking for a better life. And Governor Rauner’s willingness to send troops from Illinois demonstrates his inability to stand up for what’s right and would only serve to further the president’s dangerous agenda against immigrants.”

Senator Iris Y. Martinez

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Majority Caucus Chair
20th District

Years served:
2003 - Present
 
Committee assignments: Education; Energy; Gaming; Labor; Licensed Activities and Pensions (Chairperson); Transportation.

Biography: Born Feb. 25, 1956, in Chicago; earned her bachelor's degree in public policy and administration from Northeastern Illinois University in 2009; elected president of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators. She is also the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Co-Chair; has one daughter.