martinez map ftrpic“We have to pressure the governor who is holding this funding as leverage to push his non-budget related agenda. We have to tell him to stop playing games with the education of these kids,” State Senator Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) said this week during an interview with Spanish language network Univision. Martinez spoke about the looming hardships thousands of low-income students face due to the lack of a state budget, particularly as the second semester without funds approaches in a few weeks.

The interview included Linet Lopez, a University of Illinois at Chicago student, who receives a MAP (Monetary Award Program) grant. For Linet, this financial assistance funded through the Higher Education budget the governor vetoed is vital to pursue her dream to become a doctor.

“We may need this money more than anybody else the governor may be saving it for,” Lopez said. “Why not invest it in us, the future of the state?” univision MAP student

The Senate has repeatedly passed legislation this year seeking to re-establish funding for MAP grants. Many state universities had resources to allow students to continue courses during the fall semester, but several are now saying they may not be able to extend that opportunity for the upcoming spring semester.

“I ask Governor Rauner to work with us in finding a compromise to approve funding for higher education,” Martinez said. “We should not put the future of our kids in jeopardy for political reasons.”

Watch the Univision story on their website.

Category: In The News

Student Access Bill LaunchCHICAGO- Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) recently joined fellow legislators and student and immigrant advocates at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) to launch her “Student Access Bill.”

“Education is the great equalizer in our society,” said Martinez, who is sponsoring the measure. “All students who are qualified and eager to learn should be able to compete for assistance to pay for college.”

Undocumented students in Illinois are currently ineligible to receive state-based financial aid.

Martinez wants that to change.

Under the senator’s plan, undocumented students meeting certain criteria would be considered Illinois residents for tuition purposes and be eligible to access state-based financial aid.

If the proposal becomes law, it is estimated that 1,500 students from Illinois’ four-year public universities would receive new scholarship opportunities.

The measure does not require the state to increase spending for higher education or create a new scholarship program. It simply gives public universities the authority to offer financial aid to all students.

Senate Bill 2196 is an initiative of the University of Illinois in conjunction with the Latino Policy Forum. Former Gov. Jim Edgar, other elected officials, business and civic leaders, faith-based leaders, labor unions and numerous nonprofit organizations back the legislation.

“I am pleased that a diverse coalition has already lined up to support the Student Access Bill,” Martinez said. “Now we just need to keep the momentum going into next year’s legislative session.”

Category: In The News

During the week of October 11-17, central service professionals are being recognized for their hard work and commitment to patient safety.

“Central service professionals play a crucial role in our health care system by keeping patients safe,” Martinez said. “I am pleased to commend the members of this important profession, and I encourage others to thank them for their valuable contributions.”

Central service professionals are responsible for decontaminating, cleaning, processing, assembling and sterilizing surgical instruments prior to patient use.

For more information on International Central Service Week, please click here.

CS Week 2015

Category: In The News

In observance of Hispanic Heritage Month, Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez sat down to discuss the important contributions Hispanics are making. In conjunction with this year’s theme, “Hispanics: Honoring our Heritage, Building our Future,” Martinez talked about Ileana Sanchez, a native of Santurce, Puerto Rico, who invented a book for the blind that brought fine art to the visually-impaired community in a way they weren’t previously able to experience.

Martinez, the first Latina elected to the Illinois Senate, was also interviewed by WCIU-TV last week regarding how she is working to make a difference for her community. You can check out the interview here.

Category: In The News

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