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07/25/2024 11:34 AM
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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: May 9, 2023 09:09 AM
From: Senator Lisa Baker
To: All Senate members
Subject: Clean Slate Expansion
Pennsylvania's Clean Slate law was a groundbreaking effort to allow individuals convicted of low-level offenses to have their records sealed after ten years, in order to improve their chances to attain employment, housing, and education.  

Current law applies to individuals who remain offense-free for ten years after a conviction for a low-level misdemeanor or summary offense.  Based upon the experience under this approach, there is growing support for extending a second chance to individuals who have remained offense free for ten years following conviction for certain felonies that are low-level and non-violent in nature.

For these individuals, who have fulfilled their sentence and are rebuilding their lives to become contributing members in our communities, the status of having a criminal record can compromise their credentials forever. Providing a second chance is a matter of fairness both to these individuals and the taxpayers, who bear the costs when people are denied opportunities for jobs, housing, and education.  

While this change will affect far fewer people than the original law, it still gives a meaningful second chance to thousands of individuals seeking to become productive members of society.  

It is important to note that there is a separate effort underway to address the controversies that have arisen recently in several counties over record-sealing beyond the intent of the original law.

I invite you to join me in cosponsoring this effort to give even more people an opportunity for redemption by ensuring past mistakes do not continue to define their futures.

Introduced as SB852