The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation may soon be unable to require criminal background information from certain applicants for licensure, thanks to a measure carried by State Senator Robert Peters.
“Requiring criminal background information when it can’t be used against an applicant for licensure opens the floodgates for those with prior justice system involvement to experience discrimination based on the negative biases associated with a criminal record,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “Individuals with prior justice system involvement should be able to move on with their lives, instead of being defined by past mistakes.”
Under current law, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation may consider mitigating factors and evidence of rehabilitation contained in an applicant’s record after finding that the applicant for a license, certificate, or registration was previously convicted of a felony or misdemeanor.
House Bill 2826 prohibits inquiry into criminal history by IDFPR if the licensing statute states that criminal history cannot be used against an applicant. With this new prohibition, IDFPR would only need to perform a mitigating factor analysis in limited circumstances.
“People are more than their past mistakes,” Peters said. “If knowing a person’s criminal history won’t impact their licensing application, then this question only serves as a barrier.”
House Bill 2826 passed the Senate Friday.