Members of the House Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to advance H.B. 689 – bipartisan legislation that seeks to build on Pennsylvania’s first-in-the-nation Clean Slate law.
Enacted in 2018, this policy expedites the expungement process by automatically sealing old criminal records if the individual has remained crime-free for a period of time.
The PA Chamber worked with a strong bipartisan group of lawmakers to develop the first iteration of Clean Slate, address concerns from the business community and get the bill across the finish line. Since then, the policy has been well received by employers, advocates supporting Pennsylvanians with criminal records, and job seekers alike who recognize its help in building a robust, dynamic, and well-trained workforce.
H.B. 689 expands record-sealing eligibility to individuals with certain low-level, non-violent felony charges on their record, with the goal of encouraging them to find a job and reenter society.
Prior to the bill’s consideration, the PA Chamber sent a memo to the committee urging its members to support the bill.
“Advocates for and direct beneficiaries of Clean Slate report that this policy encourages individuals to reenter the workforce, look for employment, apply for and accept jobs and apply for promotions. We believe those expressing these sentiments. This population represents a potentially vast pool of under-tapped talent in Pennsylvania, and we urge the committee to support H.B. 689 to help facilitate their employment,” the PA Chamber wrote.
House Bill 689 now awaits further consideration by the full House.