SANTA MARIA, Calif. - A bill lawmakers say will re-open doors to employment for those with criminal records is making its way through the legislature.
Under the measure, the state would be required to automatically dismiss certain criminal convictions. This bill would apply to people who have completed their probation or sentence in a county jail. Those who were arrested but not convicted of a crime would also be eligible to have those arrests erased.
Lawmakers say many Californians who have been arrested or convicted of minor offenses still face barriers to employment and housing, especially because the current process to get these convictions removed is too tedious.
“What they can do as of today is they can go to court, spend a couple thousand dollars and get that record expunged,” Assemblymember Phil Ting of San Francisco said. “Often times, they don’t have the time and they don’t have the resources to go and do that. This would really automate that and streamline that process for government."
The measure would require the California Department of Justice to inform the courts of people who are eligible to have their records expunged.
“We had a similar bill last year asking the courts to do the expungement,” Ting continued. “They had concerns about the huge amount of cost and really the differences from court to court and county to county, so this way it’s really one entity doing it, sending out information to the courts. We hope that will be more efficient.”
No action would be required on the part of the individual.