HARRISBURG – A bill introduced by Sen. Jarrett Coleman (R-16) that would enable professionals who make minor mistakes to have a second chance by clearing their disciplinary record is one step away from becoming law after it was approved unanimously Wednesday by the state House of Representatives.
“I encourage the governor to take swift action and sign this important bill into law,” Coleman said. “Professionals who made minor mistakes years ago should have an opportunity to have their records cleared. Holding a minor infraction over a professional’s head for years or decades can hamper his or her career without benefitting our society.”
Coleman introduced Senate Bill 910 to expand the ability of the commissioner of the Pennsylvania Department of State Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs to clear a professional’s disciplinary record.
The bureau commissioner under current law can expunge a disciplinary record for two reasons. The professional’s record can be cleared if it was due to a failure to complete continuing education requirements. It also can be expunged if the discipline was related to practicing for six months or less on a lapsed or expired license, registration, certificate or permit.
Other minor infractions can remain on a professional’s disciplinary record for life.
Coleman’s bill would enable the commissioner to clear more professionals’ records if the disciplinary incidents meet a number of criteria, including:
- The incident had to take place five or more years ago.
- The incident must be the professional’s only disciplinary record with a licensing board or commission under the commissioner’s jurisdiction.
- The licensee cannot be the subject of an active investigation related to professional conduct. The licensee may not be in the disciplinary process by having a revoked or suspended license or be on probation.
- The professional must have paid any fees, fines or civil penalties imposed during a disciplinary proceeding.
- The licensee may not have had a disciplinary record previously expunged by the commissioner.
“My bill would ensure we continue to hold repeat offenders accountable while offering a clean record to someone with a single infraction,” Coleman said. “We’re all imperfect and prone to make mistakes. The goal should be to protect the public against repeat offenders without excessively punishing someone who made one mistake years ago.”
Senate Bill 910 was approved by the Senate in November. Following Wednesday’s vote in the state House to approve the bill, it now heads to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s desk to be signed into law.
Residents who want to learn more about Coleman can visit his website at www.SenatorColeman.com, follow him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SenatorJarrettColeman and sign up for email newsletters at www.SenatorColeman.com/eNewsletters.
CONTACT: Leo Knepper