Bipartisan bill removes barriers for people with criminal convictions to find employment

Bipartisan bill removes barriers for people with criminal convictions to find employment

Excerpted from North Central PA by NCPA Staff

Building on criminal justice reforms and fulfilling a recommendation to modernize job licensing, Governor Tom Wolf signed Senate Bill 637, which removes outdated licensing barriers so skilled workers with criminal records can get a second chance and start good careers.

The governor has advocated for sweeping changes to the licensing process for years.

In 2017, the governor signed an executive order requiring a review of job licensing with a comparison to other states. A task force issued a report in 2018 outlining many proposals to cut red tape and modernize job licensing.

The reforms included removing outdated criminal record restrictions. One in five Pennsylvanians needs an occupational license from a board or commission to do their job, representing more than one million workers.

“Pennsylvania must be a place where hardworking people can put their skills to work,” said Gov. Wolf. “Arbitrarily denying someone a job license because of outdated rules against criminal records is wrong. This new bipartisan law is a commonsense way to allow people to pursue the American dream and build a better life in Pennsylvania. It’s good for skilled workers, their employers, and the economy for all of us.”
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