Pennsylvania Senate Unanimously Passes Landmark ‘Clean Slate’ Bill

Syrita Bowen News, Press

Legislation Now Goes to Governor’s Desk

June 22, 2018

HARRISBURG, PA — The Justice Action Network, the largest bipartisan organization working to reform the justice system at the state and federal level, applauded the Pennsylvania Senate today for unanimously approving the first-ever ‘Clean Slate’ legislation and sending it to the Governor’s desk for his signature. ‘Clean Slate’ will allow individuals convicted of low-level, nonviolent misdemeanor offenses to have their records automatically sealed after 10 years if they are not convicted of another crime. The ‘Clean Slate’ legislation received overwhelming support in both chambers, passing the House by a vote of 188-2 and the Senate, 49-0.

“Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate bill gives a second chance to those who turn away from crime, and ensures this opportunity is afforded to all Pennsylvanians, regardless of their economic circumstance,” said Holly Harris, Executive Director of the Justice Action Network. “A low-level misdemeanor or arrest shouldn’t follow someone for the rest of his or her life, especially if that person has demonstrated rehabilitation. This legislation will help thousands of people with records return to the workforce and provide for their families. And ultimately, it will make Pennsylvania a safer, more prosperous place to live.”

“The Justice Action Network applauds Rep. Sheryl Delozier, Rep. Jordan Harris, Sen. Anthony Williams, former Sen. Scott Wagner and every lawmaker who championed this proposal to give thousands of people a real second chance to change their lives and support their families,” Harris continued. “We also acknowledge the hard work of the state’s business community and the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, which helped get this legislation across the finish line. There’s a reason ‘Clean Slate’ received broad bipartisan support among lawmakers, advocates and Pennsylvanians across the state: it’s good public policy that will make communities safer, families stronger and create a more robust workforce. We look forward to Governor Wolf signing this landmark bill into law.”

Earlier this year, a poll commissioned by the Justice Action Network found 81 percent of Pennsylvanians support ‘Clean Slate’.

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