March 14, 2023

Bill to abolish publication of a name change heads to Guv’s desk

A bill to abolish the requirement to publish a name change passed the state Senate by a vote of 35-5 on Tuesday.

HB 31, sponsored by state Rep. Christine Chandler, D-Los Alamos, will now head to the governor’s desk. 

State Sen. Leo Jaramillo, D-Española, presented the bill on the Senate floor and said it will help survivors of domestic violence and sexual violence. The bill also protects transgender individuals. 

The current statute, written in 1889, requires the publication of a name change in a local newspaper for 14 consecutive days. HB 31 removes that requirement from the statute and allows a child under the age of 14 who undergoes a name change to have their records sealed. The bill also enables a person under the age of 18 to only need one parent’s consent on a name change in the event the child is not safe from both parents or legal guardians.

The bill received bipartisan support with only five Republicans voting against it. There was no debate on the Senate floor.