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Martinez supports bill protecting legal abortion in Illinois

Sen. Iris Y. MartinezSPRINGFIELD — Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) voted today for a measure that would protect legal abortion in Illinois, even if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

HB 40, sponsored by Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), removes the trigger language from a previous Illinois law that would outlaw abortion in the state if the landmark case were overturned. It also allows Medicaid and state employee health plans to cover legal abortions.

“A woman’s right to choose is under attack at a federal level and in many states,” Martinez said. “I am proud that we in Illinois are committed to keeping the government out of a decision that should be solely up to the woman. I hope Governor Rauner lives up to his promise and signs this legislation.”

HB 40 passed the House 62-55 in last month. It passed the Senate 33-22 today and will move to the governor’s desk. Governor Rauner said in 2014 that he would sign the bill if it passed, then went back on that statement earlier this year, saying he would veto it.

Martinez: Special interests compromised women’s health in Home Birth Safety Act vote

martinez 050517SPRINGFIELD — Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to the Senate Licensed Activity and Pension Committee’s “no” vote on the Home Birth Safety Act:

This week has been a disaster for women’s health. In Washington D.C. and in Springfield, groups of men got together and dictated the choices women can make about their health, pregnancy and childbirth.

I am ashamed to say that special interests won out over women’s interests when the Senate Licensed Activity and Pension Committee voted on the Home Birth Safety Act on Wednesday.

With yesterday’s horrifying vote on the American Healthcare Act, women have fewer choices than ever with regards to their healthcare. And, sadly, this vote seeks to take away one more - a woman’s choice to have her baby at home. Additionally, it takes away an employment opportunity for women, as the majority of midwives are female.

Sarah Moore, from the Illinois Council of Certified Professional Midwives association, had this to say:

“As midwives, we have been fighting for 30 years to let families choose the way they bring babies into the world. We’ve been willing to compromise, but we’ve been met with opposition at every turn. I am disappointed that even with someone like Senator Martinez bringing this to the table, special interest groups found a reason to deny families this choice.”

The Home Birth Safety Act is not just about choice, however – it’s about responsibility. As the chair of the Licensed Activity and Pension Committee, it is my responsibility to make sure that the state is implementing safe and fair licensing standards for people to practice their chosen profession.

Home births are becoming increasingly common in Illinois and around the country – the rate has increased 77 percent between 2009-2014. In 32 states, women can have their home birth attended to by a licensed midwife. In Illinois, they have to use a midwife operating outside the system.

Let me be clear – home births will continue in Illinois. But because we allowed special interest groups to dictate our decision in committee this week, the women who choose this method to deliver their children will be less safe doing so.

I introduced this bill because I heard from women in my communities that there is a passionate desire for it. Now these women won’t even get the chance to hear an open debate on the issue on the Senate floor.

These shameful actions, silencing women and dictating their health care choices, have no place in Illinois.

Martinez: Trust Act offers necessary protection for immigrants

martinez 050417SPRINGFIELD — Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to the Illinois Senate passing the Trust Act:

“There has been real fear and concern in the immigrant community following the election of President Trump. People shouldn’t have to go about their daily lives in fear because of their appearance or the color of their skin. This legislation ensures that parents can drop their children off at school and that people can seek medical attention without being in danger of deportation. I am pleased that Illinois has taken a step to prevent federal overreach and to foster a vital relationship of trust between immigrants and law enforcement in our communities.”

Senate Bill 31, which creates the Illinois Trust Act:

  • Bars law enforcement agencies in Illinois from engaging in immigration enforcement without a warrant from federal immigration agents.
  • Bars local participation in federal registry programs based on national origin or religion, such as a potential Muslim registry.
  • Establishes safe zones at schools, medical facilities and properties operated by the Illinois Secretary of State, where federal immigration enforcement would not be admitted without a valid criminal warrant.
  • Establishes deadlines for police to complete certification forms that are requested by immigrant victims of violent crimes who cooperate with police. The certifications are among the requirements for immigrant crime victims to apply for certain visas.

Additionally, the legislation prohibits state and local police from searching, arresting, or detaining a person based solely on citizenship or immigration status or an administrative warrant.

The measure does not prevent state and local police from conducting valid criminal investigations or serving criminal warrants.

Martinez: American heroes should not be deported

martinez 050616CHICAGO — In response to a judge ordering that U.S. Army veteran Miguel Perez Jr., who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, must be deported, Senate Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement:

“Miguel Perez Jr. put his life on the line for the United States and should not be deported, which will separate him from his family and leave him without an adequate support system.

"Mr. Perez, like many of our returning soldiers, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Here in Illinois and throughout the United States, we need to focus on strengthening employment, mental health and substance abuse programs to help veterans transition back into civilian life.

"We should be enormously grateful for the sacrifices members of the armed forces make on our behalf. Deporting American heroes is wrong. I urge Governor Rauner to approve Mr. Perez’s clemency request when it gets to his desk.”

Senator Iris Y. Martinez

Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez

Assistant Majority Leader
20th District

Years served:
2003 - Present
Committee assignments: Commerce and Economic Development; Education; Energy and Public Utilities; Executive; Government Accountability/Pensions (Vice-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.

Associated Representatives:
Jaime M. Andrade, Jr.
Will Guzzardi