Jun. 25, 2020
– A much-needed piece of legislation that deals with individuals who have criminal records and are attempting to return to the workforce in a field that requires state licensure is on the verge of becoming law. Senate Bill 637
, which now awaits Gov. Tom Wolf’s signature, includes an amendment offered in committee by state Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland) that passed the House earlier this year as House Bill 1477
(which she authored).
“This is another instance of government needing to get out of the way,” Delozier said. “In this case, government needs to remove an obstruction it created that is preventing a person who has paid their debt for a crime they committed from once again being gainfully employed and contributing to society.”
The original intent of Senate Bill 637 was to address pathways to prosperity for individuals who have completed their sentence. Delozier’s amendment - the language from her House Bill 1477 - offered in the House Judiciary Committee involves anyone who is licensed in a particular profession.
“Under current law, a criminal record can automatically prevent a Pennsylvanian from obtaining a professional license and returning to work, even if the offense and the intended profession have no correlation,” added Delozier. “An example would be denying a license to someone who wants to be a cosmetologist but served time for a shoplifting charge. One has nothing to do with the other. Licensing boards and commissions should be empowered with the ability to evaluate an entire situation and use logic to allow this person to go back to work.”
Questions about this or any legislative issue should be directed to Delozier’s Harrisburg office at 717-783-5282.
Representative Sheryl Delozier
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Scott Little
717.260.6137 (office), 717.497.5967 (cell)