SPRINGFIELD – Today, Governor JB Pritzker signed House Bill 2542, a measure that repeals and amends restrictions and outdated provisions contained in Illinois’ name change law - one of the most restrictive in the nation. The current law creates yet another barrier for people living with felony records, and has an especially harmful impact on vulnerable communities who face mistreatment and identity based discrimination, including transgender and gender expansive individuals, survivors of human trafficking, and poor people of color who occupy one, or both, of those identities.

HB 2542 brings Illinois in line with other states around the nation. The following can be attributed to Khadine Bennett, Advocacy and Intergovernmental Affairs Director at the ACLU of Illinois:

The bill moves Illinois closer to a fair, modern system regarding the ability of transgender and gender expansive individuals, as well as survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence to change their names. Survivors of human trafficking and transgender people too often are at risk simply because they do not have identity documents that align with their authentic selves. This is corrected under the new law. 

Threats posed by daily interactions now will be relieved. This is good policy that increases safety for those who have been on the receiving end of these unnecessary and harmful laws. We thank the Governor for taking this important action.