(WHTM)– Lawmakers are pushing to expand the clean slate law with only a few weeks left in the legislative year.
“This bill will help tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people because we have Pennsylvanians across the state who made a mistake,” said Sharon Dietrich, Litigation Director, Community Legal Service.
Pennsylvania has a workforce crisis, and local businesses and organizations see a solution in expanding clean state legislation.
“This bill is basically a jobs bill it’s going to allow businesses to hire people for jobs that go on unfilled, it’s going to allow Pennsylvanians who paid their penalties to move on, and this is going to help their families,” said Dietrich.
Pennsylvania was the first state in the nation to have an automated expungement law, which has helped many people find a job, but is that enough?
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“This bill would allow drug felonies and other nonviolent felonies to be sealed, drug felonies could be sealed automatically without filing a petition and it would also reduce the time people have to wait to get their misdemeanor sealed from 10 years to seven years,” said Dietrich.
Pennsylvania lawmakers believe the expansion will help address the worker shortage and boost public safety, they’re not the only ones
“It helps strengthen out the community it’ll help give individuals like myself who are fathers husbands brothers uncles the opportunity to mentor the youth to teach them not to make the same mistakes that they made in the past,” said Kendell Ball, Formerly Incarcerated.
According to the Federal Bureau of Prison, more than 32,000 people have been released from prison since 1992, which means this bill can and is helping thousands find a job.