A bill that would help formerly incarcerated individuals reintegrate into society passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday, according to Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland), who sponsored the measure.
“I appreciate that my colleagues in the House recognized that we can do more to remove barriers ex-offenders face when they are trying to work, support a family and pay taxes,” Delozier said.
House Bill 1477
would eliminate an automatic denial based on a criminal record of any kind for those who wish to work to better themselves and their families by being licensed by a Department of State licensure board. It allows the boards the discretion to balance professional safety for the consumer with rehabilitation by an ex-offender.
“A licensing board should not reject someone applying to practice a profession solely due to an old infraction that may have nothing to do with the profession they want to serve. This legislation would prevent someone from being rejected based solely on having a criminal record. It gives the boards the ability to balance public safety with rehabilitation,” Delozier said.
The bill was co-sponsored by Rep. Jordan Harris (D-Philadelphia), who partnered with Delozier to develop the Clean Slate Act that clears criminal records of nonviolent, misdemeanor offenses after 10 years without subsequent arrest.
“This legislation is about second chances, job growth and lower recidivism across Pennsylvania,” Harris said. “We know the No. 1 way to lower recidivism and turn folks away from crime is to give them a chance at secure employment a better life, and that’s exactly what House Bill 1477 accomplishes. I’m thrilled to have worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, especially Rep. Delozier, to help give thousands of Pennsylvanians a chance to succeed and turn their lives around.”
“I am glad to again partner with my colleague Rep. Harris as we work for commonsense changes to criminal justice policy in Pennsylvania,” Delozier said.
For more information about Delozier and her legislative priorities, visit RepDelozier.com
Representative Sheryl Delozier
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jennifer Fitch