Bill allowing name changes for convicted individuals passes Illinois House SPRINGFIELD – A bill allowing a person who must register with a state agency due to a criminal conviction to change their name under specific circumstances passed the Illinois House on Thursday with bipartisan support. House Bill 2542, introduced by state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago,
Bill allowing name changes for convicted individuals passes Illinois House
SPRINGFIELD – A bill allowing a person who must register with a state agency due to a criminal conviction to change their name under specific circumstances passed the Illinois House on Thursday with bipartisan support.
House Bill 2542, introduced by state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, amends several state statutes preventing Illinois residents from changing their names due to their presence on watch lists. HB 2542 passed through the new House Restorative Justice Committee last month, with an amendment approved by the same committee Wednesday.
The bill crafts exceptions to the Arsonist Registration Act, the Sex Offender Registration Act, and the Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Registration Act for persons who want to change their name due to marriage, religious beliefs, victim status or gender-related identity subject to the approval of a judge.
Individuals who have not completed the terms of their sentence would still be ineligible for a name change.
“Illinois is one of a very small handful of states with an absolute barrier to name change for anyone with a felony background,” Cassidy said on the House floor Thursday. “Very specifically, this has a particularly dangerous impact on people who have survived human trafficking people, survivors of domestic violence, folks who are transgender, and are seeking to get their documents lined up with their identity.”
The petition created by the legislation requires that persons seeking to change their name must swear, under threat of committing perjury, that the name change is due to one of the four aforementioned reasons.
The petition comes with a warning that a person required to register with a state agency as a result of a conviction under the amended acts who asks the court for a name change without satisfying one of the four valid reasons will be committing a felony.
Illinoisans who change their legal name under this statute would be required to notify the relevant law enforcement agency in charge of their registration of the change. Their former name, along with all aliases, would still exist in their criminal record accessible for all law enforcement agencies alongside their new one.
The name change would also be published publicly unless the petitioner could show that doing so would cause “a hardship, including but not limited to, a negative impact on the person’s health or safety.”
Republican Rep. Mark Batinick, of Plainfield, questioned Cassidy on the House floor on how the measure prevented someone from petitioning a name change to “avoid accountability,” and how it would determine the validity of a claimed hardship used to waive the public notice requirement.
According to Cassidy, the state’s attorney will be notified of all petitions for a name change under the bill and can file objections to it with the judge hearing the case. The legislation also puts the determination of valid hardships in the hands of the judge hearing the name change petition.
Batinick voted to approve HB 2542, which passed the House in a bipartisan 85-27 vote to advance to the Senate floor.
On Twitter, Cassidy touted the measure as a victory for transgender rights and noted its bipartisan supermajority support.
Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. Nelson was later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award in recognition of his work. (Wikipedia)
Pictured above, Earth Day is celebrated on Fifth Avenue in New York City on April 20, 1970.
This was the first year that Earth Day used the Internet as its principal organizing tool, and it proved invaluable nationally and internationally. Kelly Evans, a professional political organizer, served as executive director of the 2000 campaign. The event ultimately enlisted more than 5,000 environmental groups outside the United States, reaching hundreds of millions of people in a record 183 countries. (Wikipedia)
Pictured above, Indian schoolchildren hold a poster during a rally to “save the earth” on the occasion of International Earth day in New Delhi, India Saturday, April 22, 2000.
The first Earth Day family had participants and celebrants in two thousand colleges and universities, roughly ten thousand primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities across the United States. More importantly, it “brought 20 million Americans out into the spring sunshine for peaceful demonstrations in favor of environmental reform.” (Wikipedia)
Pictured above, an estimated 7,000 persons jam a quadrangle at the Independence Mall in Philadelphia during Earth Week activities celebrating the eve of Earth Day, April 22, 1970.
Senator Gaylord Nelson chose the date in order to maximize participation on college campuses for what he conceived as an “environmental teach-in”. He determined the week of April 19–25 was the best bet as it did not fall during exams or spring breaks.
It also did not conflict with religious holidays such as Easter or Passover, and was late enough in spring to have decent weather. More students were likely to be in class, and there would be less competition with other mid-week events—so he chose Wednesday, April 22. (Wikipedia)
Earth Day began in the United States and went global in 1990 with over 140 countries participating. In 2000, more than 180 countries participated. (Wikipedia)
Pictured above is a Sat., Aug. 27, 2011 photo provided by NASA and taken from aboard the international space station by astronaut Ron Garan. The sun rises above above the earth in one of the sixteen sunrises astronauts see each day. This sunrise image shows the rising sun as the space station flew along a path between Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The success of the first Earth Day celebrations gave greater priority than ever to protecting the environment. By the end of 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency opened for business in northwest Washington, D.C. (Archive.org)
Pictured above, William D. Ruckelshaus, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, talks of state plans to clean the air during a Washington news conference, May 31, 1972. Pending a court review, he approved plans for nine states and three territories: Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, West Virginia, Guam, Puerto Rico and American Samoa.
For Earth Day 2014, NASA asked people all around the world to share selfies. The goal was to use each picture as a pixel in the creation of a “Global Selfie,” a mosaic image that would look like Earth appeared from space on Earth Day. Learn more and view the final product at NASA.gov.
Notable contributions by organizations all over the world include:
• 14 million crayons have been recycled and donated to high poverty elementary schools by Crayon Collection.
• In 2011, 28,000,000 trees were planted across Afghanistan by Earth Day Network partner Green Club Afghanistan.
• 5,000,000 energy efficient stoves were installed in homes throughout Africa by The Paradigm Project.
Pictured above, school children rally in Katmandu, Nepal on Earth Day in 2002.
Pictured above, a flag of the earth waves over the crowd on the west front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Sunday, April 23, 1990. Over 100,000 people attended the rally in the nation’s capital to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the first Earth Day.