Clean Slate Expansion Signed Into Law

Last Tuesday, PA Chamber President & CEO Luke Bernstein joined Gov. Josh Shapiro, lawmakers, and community leaders to mark the enactment of Clean Slate 3.0, which will expand automatic criminal record sealing and help encourage many Pennsylvanians into the workforce.

First enacted in 2018, Pennsylvania’s groundbreaking Clean Slate legislation provides for the automatic sealing of old criminal records for individuals who remain crime-free for a set period of time. More than 1.2 million Pennsylvanians have had their records sealed under previous iterations of the law.

Advocates and direct beneficiaries of the Clean Slate law report that it encourages individuals to reenter the workforce, look for employment, and apply for and accept jobs. The population of reformed, formerly incarcerated individuals represents a potentially vast pool of under-tapped talent in Pennsylvania, and public policy should help facilitate their employment.

The PA Chamber worked with a strong bipartisan group of lawmakers to bring the first iteration of Clean Slate to the finish line, which has been well-received by employers and job seekers alike. This most recent expansion of the policy (which passed as House Bill 689 last year) extends automatic criminal record sealing for select non-violent drug felonies, excluding dealing or trafficking.

Given our Commonwealth’s severe workforce shortage, the PA Chamber has been proud to advocate for Clean Slate expansion as a means to offer otherwise law-abiding Pennsylvanians a second chance while encouraging their reentrance into the workforce and giving employers access to this broader talent pool. It is an important part of the puzzle in closing the job-skills gap and part of our multi-tiered workforce development strategy.


Founded in 1916, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.