HARRISBURG – The Senate Judiciary Committee reported out Senate Bill 529, bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Scott Wagner (R-28) and Senator Anthony Williams (D-8) that will provide for automatic sealing of criminal records for minor offenses.
Termed “Clean Slate” legislation, SB 529 and its companion, House Bill 1419, are the first of their kind in the nation. The goal is to eliminate the hurdle that individuals with a criminal record face when seeking opportunities, particularly for employment.
“As a business owner I see firsthand the impact a criminal record can have on an individual’s attempt to obtain employment or advance their career,” Wagner said. “Someone who committed a minor offense 20 years ago should not still be judged for that crime today.”
This is the second year in a row that Wagner and Williams have joined forces to sponsor Clean Slate legislation and that the Senate Judiciary Committee has acted swiftly to consider the bill. Senator Greenleaf, Committee Chairman, is one of 26 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle that recognize the importance of this proposal.
“The fact that Clean Slate legislation is moving through the General Assembly is a major step toward reforming our criminal justice system so that those who made mistakes will have the opportunity to become more prosperous and productive citizens,” said Williams. “That kind of progress is beneficial for everyone.”
Having worked to address concerns raised last session with the Pennsylvania State Police and the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts, both of which will play a role in implementing Clean Slate, Wagner and Williams are confident the legislation has the support needed to move quickly through the legislature.
Senate Bill 529 now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
CONTACT: Erin Marsicano, 717-787-3817, firstname.lastname@example.org