SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Robert Peters supported a measure to allow justice-impacted individuals to legally change their names, which passed out of the Senate Tuesday.

“There are a million reasons why someone could have been impacted by the justice system, and sometimes you find their only crime was trying to survive,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “Sometimes, people need a new identity for their safety, and for their ability to truly lead a good life. This legislation would be an aid in those scenarios.”

House Bill 2542 allows individuals on various criminal registries to file for a name change if the change is sought for the reasons of marriage, transgender identity, religious beliefs, or status as a victim of trafficking.

In particular, many transgender people and victims of human trafficking have crimes of survival in their backgrounds, and need to be able to change their names in order to move on with their lives.

“This legislation is important because it could save someone’s life, or help them move on from a past that wasn’t kind to them,” Peters said. “Further, this could help affirm someone’s chosen gender. It’s necessary that we allow people with justice-impacted backgrounds to change their name.”

House Bill 2542 now awaits consideration from the governor.