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Collateral Consequences Resource Center - Pathways to Reintegration Criminal Record Reforms in 2019

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Pathways to Reintegration:
Criminal Record Reforms in 2019
February 2020

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COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

The Collateral Consequences Resource Center is a non-profit organization
established in 2014 to promote public engagement on the myriad issues
raised by the collateral consequences of arrest or conviction. Collateral
consequences are the legal restrictions and societal stigma that burden
people with a criminal record long after their criminal case is closed. The
Center provides news and commentary about this dynamic area of the
law, and a variety of research and practice materials aimed at legal and
policy advocates, courts, scholars, lawmakers, and those most directly
affected by criminal justice involvement.
Through our Restoration of Rights Project (RRP) we describe and analyze
the various laws and practices relating to restoration of rights and
criminal record relief in each U.S. jurisdiction. In addition to these stateby-state profiles, a series of 50-state comparison charts and periodic
reports on new enactments make it possible to see national patterns and
emerging trends in formal efforts to mitigate the adverse impact of a
criminal record. We have recently begun consulting in support of state
law reform efforts, and in 2019 organized a successful effort to develop a
model law on access to and use of non-conviction records. In addition, we
participate in court cases challenging specific collateral consequences,
and engage with social media and journalists on these issues. For more
information, visit the CCRC website at http://ccresourcecenter.org.

Pathways to Reintegration:
Criminal Record Reforms in 2019
By Margaret Love & David Schlussel

INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................. 1
REPORT CARD .................................................................................................... 5
Voting and other civil rights ......................................................................... 7
Criminal record relief .................................................................................. 10
Diversionary dispositions .......................................................................... 21
Occupational licensing and employment ............................................. 23
Immigration consequences ....................................................................... 36
Other relief measures .................................................................................. 37
CONCLUSION .................................................................................................... 40
Appendix: New Laws by State ................................................................... 44

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INTRODUCTION
In 2019, 43 states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government enacted an
extraordinary 152 laws aimed at reducing barriers faced by people with criminal
records in the workplace, at the ballot box, and in many other areas of daily life. This
prolific legislative track record, augmented by one important executive order, reflects
a lively national conversation about how best to limit unwarranted record-based
discrimination and to promote reintegration.
Last year, we reported what was then an unprecedented number of new record
reform laws: 32 states enacted 57 new laws in 2018. In terms of the number of new
laws enacted and their importance, 2019 breaks every record set in 2018.
Lawmakers across the country took major actions to restore voting and other civil
rights; authorize expungement and other forms of record relief; expand diversion
programs to avoid conviction; limit the use of
criminal records in occupational licensing,
employment,
and
housing;
alleviate
In terms of the number of
immigration consequences; and curb driver’s
new laws enacted and their
license penalties unrelated to driving offenses.
importance, 2019 breaks
Approaches to relief varied widely from state
every record set in 2018.
to state, with respect to the type of relief, the
specifics of who is eligible for it, the mechanics
of delivery, and its effect.
This report on 2019 criminal record reforms continues CCRC’s efforts to document
an extraordinarily fruitful period of law reform in the United States, one that began
around 2013 and has continued to gather steam into 2020. 1 The overall purpose of
this law reform movement has been to advance a public policy of promoting
reintegration for people with a criminal record. In the seven-year period in which
CCRC has been following the trend, every state legislature and the federal government
has taken at least some steps to chip away at the negative effects of a criminal record
on an individual’s ability to earn a living, access housing, education and public
benefits, and otherwise fully participate in society.2
This introduction highlights key developments from this past year. A Report Card,
new this year, grades the progess of the most (and least) productive state legislatures
in 2019. The body of the report provides topical discussions of reform measures, and
is followed by an appendix that organizes the laws enacted by jurisdiction. A link to
the text of each law is included, as well as a statutory citation where available. More

INTRODUCTION

detailed information about each state’s laws is available in the CCRC Restoration of
Rights Project.
Voting and other civil rights
Eleven states took steps to restore the right to vote and to expand awareness of voting
eligibility. Most notable were the laws passed by Colorado, Nevada, and New Jersey
making convicted individuals eligible to vote except when in prison. In addition,
Kentucky’s new governor issued an executive
order restoring the vote to an estimated 140,000
Eleven states took
individuals, making Iowa the only state that does
steps to restore the
not restore the vote automatically to most of those
right to vote and to
who lose the vote due to conviction. States also
expand awareness of
restored eligibility for jury service (California and
voting eligibility.
Maryland), public office (New Hampshire) and
firearms possession (Arizona).
Criminal record relief and diversionary dispositions
As in past years, the reform measures most frequently enacted were limits on access
to records, such as sealing, expungement, or set-aside. This past year, 31 states and
D.C. enacted no fewer than 67 laws creating, expanding, or streamlining recordclearing laws, or vacating convictions. This total does not include 25 other new laws
authorizing diversionary dispositions that will be eligible for record relief under
existing law.
Efforts to automate criminal record relief gained widespread attention in 2019 as a
response to the “uptake gap” scholars have identified
in petition-based
3
schemes. The “gap” refers to the large percentage of a sealing law’s intended
beneficiaries who never even apply for relief,
deterred by multiple barriers to access like
unclear eligibility criteria, burdensome and
Efforts to automate criminal
intimidating court procedures, and lack of
record relief gained
knowledge. Automated schemes close the
widespread attention as a
gap by requiring the government to grant
response to the “uptake gap”
relief to all individuals deemed eligible by the
scholars have identified in
legislature,
without
requiring
those
petition-based schemes
individuals to ask for it.4

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INTRODUCTION

The trend in favor of broad-based automatic relief for a range of non-conviction and
non-conviction records began with Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate Act of 2018.5 That law
automated relief for a variety of non-conviction records and misdemeanor
convictions, and will result in the sealing of more than 30 million criminal records
when its retroactive application is completed by June 27, 2020. In 2019, Utah,
California, and New Jersey authorized automated relief for a range of conviction and
non-conviction records. Six additional states made relief automatic for specific
offenses or dispositions, including non-conviction records, marijuana convictions and
juvenile adjudications.
Several states enacted ambitious new petition-based sealing and expungement
schemes. Many other states expanded eligibility for record relief under laws enacted
in earlier years, some authorizing relief for specified felony convictions for the first
time. States also increased opportunities to avoid a conviction record through
diversion and deferral and other non-conviction dispositions. A model law on nonconviction records, developed by a group of practitioners under CCRC’s leadership,
urged jurisdictions to make this relief automatic and thorough, and to address the
problem of records with no disposition, including uncharged arrests.6
Occupational licensing and employment
In 2019, legislatures also continued to explore the key role occupational licensing
plays in improving opportunities for people with a criminal record. Twenty states
enacted laws regulating licensing to establish clear and objective criteria for
applicants, and to hold licensing agencies accountable for their decision-making. As
in 2018, many of these laws reflect the influence of model laws developed by two
organizations with divergent regulatory philosophies.7 Alabama, Mississippi,
Nevada, and West Virginia took steps for
the first time to limit licensing agencies’
20 states enacted laws
ability to reject qualified individuals based
regulating occupational
solely on their criminal record, and seven
licensing to establish clear and
other states made significant modifications
objective criteria, and to hold
to existing licensing schemes. Arizona
licensing agencies accountable
enacted significant reforms for a third
for their decision-making.
consecutive year, while Texas produced
no fewer than five laws affecting licensing.
New fair employment laws were also enacted. Illinois expanded its Human Rights
Law to give added protection to those with criminal records in housing as well as

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INTRODUCTION

employment; and, it extended its “certificate of good conduct” to relieve mandatory
licensing and housing barriers in addition to employment. Several other states
enacted or expanded existing “ban-the-box” laws prohibiting employers from making
application-stage inquiries about criminal record. A total of 35 states and D.C. now
prohibit such inquiries by public
employers, while 13 states cover private
Congress enacted restrictions on
employers as well.8 Most significantly,
pre-employment inquiries by
Congress enacted restrictions on prefederal agencies and contractors
employment inquiries by federal
that postpone background checks
agencies and contractors that postpone
until after a conditional offer.
background checks until after a
conditional offer has been made.
Other relief measures
Several states enacted laws intended to help defendants avoid deportation for minor
crimes, and several others repealed laws making driver’s license suspension
mandatory for crimes unrelated to driving and for failure to pay court debt and child
support.
Looking ahead to 2020
The legal landscape at the end of 2019 shows states continuing to experiment with
different types of relief to advance the goal of reintegration. In 2020, we predict a
continuing expansion of record-clearing opportunities, both for conviction and nonconviction dispositions. We also expect
more efforts to automate record relief,
In 2020 we expect more efforts
with the accompanying simplification of
to automate record relief, with
eligibility criteria, improved records
the accompanying simplification
management by courts and records
of eligibility criteria, improved
repositories, and better coordination of
records management by courts
state and federal records systems.
and records repositories, and
better coordination of state and
Elimination of bars to occupational
federal records systems.
licensing will also continue to be a top
priority, given the bipartisan popularity of
these regulatory reforms. Other issues
that should be addressed are the extension of state fair employment and housing
laws, and elimination of abusive background checking practices. Finally, we hope for
continued progress toward restored voting rights for—at the very least—all citizens

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REPORT CARD

living in the community, without regard to whether they have completed the terms of
their sentence or paid off court-ordered financial obligations.

REPORT CARD
For the first time this year we have prepared a “Report Card” on how state legislatures
performed in 2019 in advancing the goals of reintegration. We have not covered all
states, only those we thought most and least productive. We hope this new feature of
our annual reports will provide an incentive to legislatures across the nation, and a
tool for legislative advocates.
In this inaugural year, New Jersey gets the top mark as Reintegration Champion of
2019 for the most consequential legislative record of any state last year. New Jersey’s
“Clean Slate” law authorized an automated record-clearing process for many
thousands of misdemeanor and felony
convictions going back decades, and extended
New Jersey gets the top mark
eligibility and improved procedures for
as Reintegration Champion
petition-based discretionary expungement
of 2019 for the most
relief.
New Jersey enacted two other
consequential legislative
important laws promoting reintegration. One
record of any state last year.
limited felony disenfranchisement to people
in prison, immediately restoring the vote to
about 80,000 people still completing their
sentences in the community. Unlike the executive orders that have this effect in New
York and Kentucky, New Jersey’s law will not be easily retracted when the statehouse
changes hands. Another new law repealed provisions mandating suspension of
driver’s licenses for conviction of drug and other non-driving crimes, for failure to
pay court debt, and for failure to pay child support.
In commending New Jersey’s legislative accomplishments, we would be remiss not to
recognize the key role played by Governor Phil Murphy in making criminal record
reform the cornerstone of his legislative agenda, and by key legislative leaders, who
together persuaded the legislature to enact in a single year a bolder set of
reintegration laws than any other in the country to the present time.9

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REPORT CARD

Colorado is runner up for our new
Reintegration Champion award, based on a
As runner-up, Colorado
prolific legislative record that is a close
enacted 10 laws on criminal
second to New Jersey’s. In 2019 Colorado
records, voting rights, banenacted ten record reform laws, among them
the-box, and immigration.
an ambitious rewriting of its code chapter on
criminal records, a law restoring voting
rights to parolees and one extending ban-the-box to private employers, and two new
measures to avoid deportation as a consequence of conviction. Colorado’s productive
2019 followed an almost equally productive 2018, when its legislature regulated
occupational licensing agencies and gave its courts authority to remove mandatory
collateral penalties.
Honorable mention for a productive legislative season goes to six states: Illinois and
Nevada (with nine and eight laws, respectively, some significant); New Mexico and
North Dakota (for their comprehensive first-ever record-sealing schemes, and banthe-box bills); Mississippi (for its extensive regulation of occupational licensing,
management of diversion courts, and repeal of mandatory driver’s license penalties
for drug and other non-driving crimes); and West Virginia (for two significant laws,
on record relief and occupational licensing, as well as a diversion bill). Five additional
states deserve recognition for notable enactments: Arkansas for a major revision of
its
occupational
licensing
law;
California and Utah for their automated
Honorable mention goes to 6
record relief laws (though Utah’s
states (IL, NV, NM, ND, WV, MS) for
scheme is not as far-reaching as New
productive legislative seasons.
Jersey’s, and California’s is prospective
only); New York for two measures to
limit access to undisposed (pending)
cases; and Delaware for its first comprehensive expungement scheme.
Low marks go to three of the seven states that enacted no record reform laws at all in
2019: the legislatures of Alaska, Georgia, and Michigan have been the least
productive in the land in recent years where restoration of rights and status is
concerned. Kansas, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania also produced
no new laws in 2019, but all four states enacted major record reforms in 2018 so we
give them a pass.
We conclude by noting that many of the states not mentioned in this inaugural Report
Card made progress last year in limiting access to and use of criminal records, and we

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VOTING AND OTHER CIVIL RIGHTS

were hard-pressed not to single a few more of them out for credit. It is clear to us that
almost every state sees criminal record reform as an important and challenging
legislative agenda. We anticipate that in 2020 states that have been comparatively
cautious in their recent law-making will be inspired to take larger steps as they see
what more ambitious jurisdictions have already been able to accomplish.
***
The following sections describe the 2019 reforms in more detail, by topic: (1) voting
and other civil rights; (2) criminal record relief; (3) diversionary dispositions;
(4) occupational licensing and employment; (5) immigration consequences; and
(6) other relief measures. A link to the text of each law is included, as well as a
statutory citation where available. The appendix organizes each of these laws by the
enacting jurisdiction.

VOTING AND OTHER CIVIL RIGHTS
1. Voting rights
In 2019, eleven states took steps to restore the right to vote and to expand awareness
of voting eligibility. Greater awareness is very important, since many people
convicted of a felony believe they are disqualified from voting when they are not. In
fact, almost every state restores voting rights automatically to most convicted
persons at some point, and in almost half the states people are not disenfranchised in
the first place unless they are serving a prison term.10
The most significant new re-enfranchisement laws were enacted in Colorado,
Nevada and New Jersey, where convicted individuals are now eligible to vote except
when in prison:
• Colorado restored the vote to persons on parole supervision (HB 1266). See Col. Rev.
Stat. §§ 1-1-104(49.3), 17-2-102(14), 1-2-101(3). This law also directed corrections
officials to inform people leaving custody of their eligibility to register.
• Nevada revised its complex system for restoring civil rights so that all people with
felony convictions may now vote except while in prison (AB 431). See Nev. Rev. Stat. §§
176A.850, 213.155, 213.157.
• New Jersey’s governor, in one of the final legislative acts of 2019, signed a law limiting
disenfranchisement to a period of actual incarceration, even in cases where a court has
ordered loss of the vote for election law violations, immediately restoring the vote to
about 80,000 people (A5823). See N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 19:4, et. seq.

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VOTING AND OTHER CIVIL RIGHTS

These three states joined the two states that in 2018 took steps to limit
disenfranchisement to a period of incarceration.11 Now, only three of the 19 states
that disenfranchise only those sentenced to prison still extend ineligibility through
completion of parole: California, Connecticut, and Idaho. In 2019 both California and
Connecticut considered bills that would allow people to vote once they leave prison,
though in California this will require a constitutional amendment.
Kentucky saw perhaps the most dramatic extension of the franchise in 2019, when
its incoming governor Andy Beshear issued an executive order restoring the vote and
eligibility for office to an estimated 140,000 individuals convicted of non-violent
felonies who had completed their sentences. Before the order, individuals were
required to petition the governor individually to obtain restoration of their civil
rights. (Governor Beshear’s father had issued a similar order in 2015 at the end of
his own term as governor, but it was revoked by his successor.) Iowa is now the only
state that does not restore the vote automatically to most convicted individuals at
some point.
Other states took less dramatic but significant steps to expand the franchise:
• Arizona repealed its law making automatic restoration of the vote to those with only
one felony conviction depend on payment of fines and fees (those who owe restitution
must still apply to the court, like recidivists, to regain voting rights) (HB 2080). See Ariz.
Rev. Stat. § 13-907. (See below for this bill’s firearms restoration provisions.)
• Arkansas corrected an unintended gap in its election law that made it hard for juveniles
prosecuted as adults to regain the right to vote (SB 573). See Ark. Code Ann. § 16-93622.
• Oklahoma revised its laws to clarify that voting rights are lost upon conviction of a
felony and are restored upon completion of sentence (HB 2253). See 26 Okla. Stat. Ann.
§ 4-101.

Four states enacted laws directing corrections officials to inform people leaving
custody of their eligibility to register, addressing the pervasive public
misunderstanding that the right to vote is permanently lost by conviction: Colorado
(HB 1266), Illinois (HB 2541; SB 2090), New Hampshire (HB 486), and Washington
(SB 5207). Illinois’ two new laws on this subject also facilitate voting by mail for
eligible persons detained in county jails and provide for peer-led programs to teach
civics to prisoners who are soon to be released.
Florida is the only state that took steps during the year to restrict rather than enlarge
the franchise, in the wake of that state’s restoration of the franchise in 2018, by ballot

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VOTING AND OTHER CIVIL RIGHTS

initiative, to more than a million state residents who had completed their courtimposed sentences. That ballot initiative restored the right to vote to people
convicted of felonies, other than murder or sexual offenses, upon “completion of all
terms of sentence including parole or probation.” In 2019, the Florida legislature
passed a law interpreting “completion of sentence” to include payment of fines, fees,
and court costs (SB 7066). See Fla. Stat. § 98.0751. The Florida Supreme Court
recently agreed in an advisory opinion that the ballot initiative’s reference to
“completion of all terms of sentence” includes all financial obligations imposed in
conjunction with a sentence. Plaintiffs in ongoing federal litigation seek to strike
down these financial barriers and/or provide relief for those unable to identify or
satisfy court debt.12 One of the knotty problems associated with efforts to reenfranchise Florida residents is the uneven state of court records in the state, such
that inconsistent and missing records can make it difficult for many individuals
(especially those with dated convictions) to show that they have in fact fully satisfied
financial penalties associated with their criminal cases.
In the broader national picture, at the conclusion of 2019 almost half the states allow
people with a felony conviction to vote if they are living in the free community: 18
states and the District of Columbia now allow people to vote unless in prison,
Louisiana allows voting five years after release, and Maine and Vermont do not
disenfranchise anyone based on conviction. Of the remaining 29 states, a majority
restore the vote automatically upon completion of sentence, which may or may not
also require payment of court debt. However, a significant minority of states require
at least some individuals (recidivists, persons convicted of specific offenses, or those
who owe court debt) to file individual petitions with the governor or a court to regain
the right to vote. And of course, Iowa now stands alone in requiring everyone to
petition its governor in order to vote, including people with federal convictions.
The coming year should see additional developments in Florida regarding reenfranchisement of those with unpaid fines, fees, or restitution. This is turn could
have ramifications for the half dozen additional states that impose similar financial
barriers to the ballot box. At the very least, full restoration of the vote to all citizens
living in the free community must be a key part of the reintegration agenda going
forward, and we commend the efforts of advocacy organizations like the Brennan
Center and the ACLU to this end. Widespread disenfranchisement, a remnant of
ancient civil death and more modern Jim Crow, should have no place in the American
polity.

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CRIMINAL RECORD RELIEF

2. Jury service, public office, and firearms
States also enacted measures to restore rights to jury service (California and
Maryland), public office (New Hampshire), and firearms (Arizona and Arkansas):
• California passed a statute restoring eligibility for trial jury service upon completion of
sentence (previously a pardon was necessary) (SB 310). See Cal. Civ. Proc. § 203(a).
• Maryland also lowered its conviction-related bar to jury eligibility (SB236). See Md.
Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Pro. Code § 8-103(b)(4). Previously, people were ineligible to
serve on a jury if they had received a sentence of more than six months of imprisonment,
and were not pardoned, or had a pending charge for an offense punishable by more than
six months imprisonment; under the new law, these six-month periods are extended to
one year.
• New Hampshire revised its law disqualifying people with a conviction from holding
public office, making the restriction applicable only during actual incarceration, so that
it is now coincident with the period of felony disenfranchisement (HB486) (this limit on
disenfranchisement to only during actual incarceration has been in place in the Granite
State since 1965). See N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 607-A:2(I).
• Arizona revised its law on firearms restoration to authorize the sentencing court to
restore rights to most people with felony convictions two years after completion of
sentence (HB 2080). See Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-906, -907. Note that automatic restoration
of civil rights for first offenses does not include restoration of firearms rights. People
convicted of “serious” offenses must wait 10 years to regain firearms rights, and those
convicted of “dangerous” offenses are permanently ineligible for restoration unless
pardoned. See Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-910.
• Arkansas made minor revisions to conviction-related criteria for license to carry a
concealed handgun (HB 1678). See Ark. Code. Ann. § 5-73-309.

CRIMINAL RECORD RELIEF
As in past years, the reform measure most frequently enacted in 2019 was record
relief—expungement, sealing, or other mechanisms—to limit access to criminal
records or set aside convictions. (As we have noted in earlier reports, the statutory
terms most commonly used to describe record relief mechanisms do not have the
same functional meaning from state to state.13) This past year, 31 states and D.C.
enacted no fewer than 67 bills creating, expanding, or streamlining record relief. On
top of this, almost two dozen other new laws discussed in the following section
authorize diversion programs that produce non-conviction dispositions newly
eligible for record-clearing under existing law. A trend we observed in our 2018
report toward “a growing preference for more transparent restoration mechanisms”

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limiting use of a criminal record, as opposed to limiting access, does not appear so
obvious to us this year. If anything, jurisdictions appear to be seeking greater
efficiency in record-clearing.
As detailed below, 27 states and D.C. made certain classes of convictions newly
eligible for expungement, sealing, or vacatur relief. Five of those states enacted their
first general authority for expunging or sealing convictions (North Dakota, New
Mexico, West Virginia, Delaware, Iowa), making record relief available for the first
time to thousands of people. Nonetheless, if the experience of other states is any
guide, most potential beneficiaries of these new or expanded relief schemes will not
obtain relief: eligibility criteria are frequently complex and unclear, and court
procedures are usually intimidating, burdensome and expensive. In many cases
people are simply unaware of what the law provides. These and other barriers to
access have been shown to frustrate a recording-clearing law’s purpose.14
To obviate the inefficiencies of an individualized petition-based system, in 2019 three
states followed the example set the year before by Pennsylvania’s “Clean Slate Act,”
by automating relief for a range of conviction and non-conviction records (Utah,
California, New Jersey). Six additional states focused automatic relief provisions on
specific offenses or dispositions (Florida, Illinois, New York, Virginia, Nebraska,
Texas).
Also notable were bills providing relief for victims of human trafficking and for
marijuana offenses. Seven states and D.C. authorized relief for victims of human
trafficking, allowing them to vacate, expunge, and seal a range of criminal records
resulting from their status as a victim. Seven other states—all of which have
legalized or decriminalized marijuana—authorized record relief for certain
marijuana offenses, including two automated relief measures (New York and
Illinois).
In addition to these marijuana and human trafficking measures, which often extend
to arrests and other non-conviction records, eleven states extended relief specifically
to certain non-conviction records for the first time. Most far-reaching and innovative,
new provisions in New York’s annual budget bill limited access to cases in which there
has been no docket entry for five years and precluded the inclusion of such
undisposed cases in background check reports. New York also authorized automatic
sealing of pre-1992 non-conviction records, belatedly giving retroactive effect to the
mandatory sealing law enacted that year.

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Finally, thirteen states enacted 18 laws to streamline and/or make more effective the
procedures for obtaining relief under existing mechanisms. Three states made
particularly noteworthy and broad-based procedural reforms to their criminal
records laws (Colorado, Washington, and New York).
To describe in detail the year’s haul of record relief laws, we have organized them into
three categories: (1) new automatic relief schemes; (2) new petition-based relief; and
(3) improved procedures and effect of existing record relief mechanisms. (Note that
some states style their limits on access as “expungement” and others as “sealing,” but
in many cases the two terms appear to be functionally indistinguishable.15 Further
detail about the effect of record relief in a particular jurisdiction can be found in the
CCRC Restoration of Rights Project.)
1. New automated relief
Initially inspired by the need for large-scale relief in the wake of marijuana
legalization, automation entered the law reform mainstream in 2018 when
Pennsylvania passed its Clean Slate Act, providing a term that is now generally
understood to refer to automated schemes (though is not in practice always so
limited). Pennsylvania’s automated sealing law did not extend relief beyond the
misdemeanor level, the law was unusually ambitious in its retroactive application to
millions of state records accumulated over decades. While a few states have for years
provided for mandatory sealing of non-conviction and juvenile records, until
Pennsylvania’s law none had attempted to make mandatory sealing self-executing,
and retroactive.16 In 2019, three states joined Pennsylvania in enacting “clean slate”
automatic sealing laws of their own, although implementation in all three
jurisdictions remains in the developmental stage:
• Utah’s clean slate law will provide for automatic expungement of a variety of nonconviction, infraction, and misdemeanor criminal records (and deletion of certain traffic
records) when the law takes effect on May 1, 2020, and will apply retroactively to cases
adjudicated prior to its effective date (HB 431). (Utah provides sealing relief to almost
all convictions, excluding only serious felonies, so its automation feature applies only to
cases on the lowest tier.) See Utah Code Ann §§ 77-40-102, et seq.
• California’s 2019 clean slate law provides for automatic “record relief” (effectively
sealing) for certain convictions and arrests occurring after the bill’s effective date of
January 1, 2021. The new law supplements but does not supplant the existing system of
petition-based sealing, dismissal, and set-aside relief (eligibility criteria are slightly
different). While its automatic record relief feature is prospective only, courts and the
state repository will for the first time be prohibited from disclosing information about

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conviction records that have been dismissed or set aside under existing petition-based
systems, as well as those granted relief under the new automatic process. (AB 1076).
See Cal. Penal Code §§ 851.93; 1203.425.
• New Jersey’s clean slate law, the final record relief measure signed into law in 2019,
directs the State to develop and implement a process by which all but certain convictions
will be automatically made “inaccessible to the public” ten years after completion of the
sentence imposed for the most recent conviction. Expungement will be immediate for
non-conviction records at the time of disposition, including records of deferred
adjudications. Finally, the same bill reduces indictable marijuana and hashish
convictions either to disorderly offenses or makes them non-criminal, depending upon
the amount of the drug involved, for purposes of immediate expungement. A task force
was established to implement the automated feature of the new law. As an interim
measure pending development of the automated process, the law provides that
individuals eligible for relief under the “clean slate” provision may petition the court for
relief beginning in June 2020, when the new law takes effect. If the person is determined
by the court to be eligible, expungement is mandatory, and a prior expungement is not
disqualifying as under the regular expungement law. The 2019 law also extends
eligibility and improves procedures for petition-based discretionary relief from courts,
including reducing the waiting period to five years the repeal of filing fees, which (as
under Pennsylvania’s law and the other schemes enacted) is available to a broader range
of cases than those eligible for automated relief (S4154). See N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2C:52, et
seq.

In addition to these large-scale automation projects, six states enacted automatic
relief measures focused more narrowly on marijuana offenses, pardoned offenses,
non-conviction records, and juvenile records:
• Florida directed its state records repository to develop a system for automatic sealing
of the non-conviction records that are eligible for petition-based relief from the courts
under existing law (HB 7125). See Fla. Stat. § 943.0595. (Existing Florida law also
provides for expungement of certain records, including those that have been sealed for
10 years.) Unlike the other more general automated systems discussed above, Florida’s
new law appears to contemplate expanding the class of records eligible for sealing, since
it omits restrictions related to prior convictions or record relief.
• Illinois’s marijuana legalization bill authorized the automatic expungement of arrests
and convictions for “minor cannabis offenses” (not more than 30 grams, no
enhancements, and no violence); and petition-based expungement for more serious
marijuana convictions (HB1438; SB 1557). See Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 2630/5.2.
• New York extended its automatic sealing of non-conviction records to cases decided
prior to the enactment of mandatory sealing relief in 1992. It also restricted access to
undisposed cases after five years of inactivity and to court records terminated without

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a conviction. (S1505). See N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law §§ 160.50; 160.55; 845C; 845D. It also
authorized automatic vacatur and expungement of convictions for possession of two
ounces or less of marijuana, with a presumption that a plea to such an offense was not
knowing, voluntary, and intelligent for purposes of avoiding immigration consequences
(S6579; S6614). See N.Y. Penal Law § 221.05. Finally, it outlawed release of booking
information and “mugshots” by police departments without a law enforcement purpose
(S1505).
• Nebraska enhanced its existing procedures for automatic sealing of juvenile records (LB
354). See Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 43-2,108.01 through 43-2,108.05.
• Texas directed juvenile courts, upon entering a finding that charges are unfounded, to
seal all records immediately and without a hearing (HB 1760). See Tex. Fam. Code §
58.005.
• Virginia provided for automatic expungement for persons granted an “absolute pardon”
(exoneration) (HB 2278). See § 19.2-392.2.

The Clean Slate Initiative reports that several states are considering automated
“record-clearing” laws in the 2020 legislative session. Among the issues that must be
worked out are how to simplify eligibility criteria for algorithmic treatment, how to
coordinate and manage diffuse records systems, how to notify those whose records
have been cleared, and how to decide what it means as a functional matter for a
recorded to be “cleared.”17
2. New petition-based relief
The second category of record relief laws expanded the availability of petition-based
relief to new classes of people. Twenty-four states and D.C. enacted no fewer than 41
laws that authorize people to apply to a court for relief for convictions or dispositions
that were previously ineligible.
New Mexico, North Dakota, Delaware, West Virginia, and Colorado made
particularly dramatic changes to their petition-based systems to extend eligibility for
relief to a range of non-conviction and conviction records. None of the first four states
had previously authorized relief for felony-level offenses, and Colorado had
authorized sealing only for drug convictions.
The comprehensive schemes enacted by North Dakota and New Mexico are
noteworthy as the first laws in those states to authorize sealing of adult criminal
records. Both states extend relief to most felonies, but they also require the applicant
to pay a filing fee and make the case for relief at a court hearing. (North Dakota courts
may dispense with the hearing if the prosecutor agrees.) Delaware’s law makes

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sealing mandatory for non-conviction records and some misdemeanors offenses
without a hearing or filing fee. Colorado completely rewrote its chapter on criminal
records (discussed in #3 of this section), and expanded eligibility for sealing from
drug crimes to other misdemeanors and minor felonies, as well as uncharged arrests
and other non-conviction records.
• New Mexico enacted that state’s first general authority for limiting access to adult
criminal records, authorizing expungement for all but the most serious violent and
sexual crimes. Courts are authorized to expunge the record of most misdemeanor and
felony convictions after conviction-free waiting periods ranging from two to ten years
after completion of sentence. At a hearing, the court must apply a multi-factor test to
determine that “justice will be served by an order to expunge.” Courts are also
authorized for the first time to expunge all but a limited category of non-conviction
records after a one-year waiting period, so long as no charges are pending against the
individual (HB 370). See N.M. Stat. Ann. § 29-3A-5.
• North Dakota enacted that state’s first general authority for sealing conviction records:
it authorizes people with misdemeanor and most felony convictions to apply after a
charge-free waiting period of three and five years, respectively, with certain exceptions.
People with violent offenses must wait ten years (coextensive with the period for
firearms restoration), while DUIs may be sealed after seven years. (HB1256; HB1334).
See N.D. Cent. Code §§ 12-60.1, et seq. The court may grant the petition if it finds that the
petitioner has completed the sentence, including payment of restitution, and has shown
that "the benefit to the petitioner outweighs the presumption of openness of the criminal
record," applying a multi-factor test. The court may dispense with the hearing if the
prosecutor agrees. (North Dakota courts have inherent authority to seal non-conviction
records.)
• Delaware, which previously only authorized expungement for misdemeanors if
terminated without conviction or pardoned by the governor, enacted a dramatic
expansion of this record relief, making it mandatory for all cases “terminated in favor of
the accused” and certain less serious misdemeanors, and discretionary for more serious
misdemeanors and eligible felonies. Mandatory relief is administered by the state
records repository, while discretionary relief is administered by the courts, with
variable waiting periods and limits on number of offenses (SB 37). See Del. Code Ann.
tit. 11, §§ 4372, et seq. Delaware’s new law stops short of making relief automatic in
“mandatory” cases, since people must apply to the repository before their cases will be
considered.
• West Virginia significantly expanded the availability of expungement beyond a limited
class of youthful misdemeanants, to cover certain non-violent felonies and
misdemeanors. Less serious felonies are eligible for expungement relief for the first
time. (A 2017 law is repealed that had authorized reduction of these felonies to
misdemeanors, but withheld expungement.) Violent and sexual crimes are

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ineligible. Persons convicted of eligible misdemeanors may petition for expungement
one year after conviction, or completion of incarceration or supervision if later. The
waiting period is two years for persons convicted of more than one eligible
misdemeanor, and five years for eligible felonies. Persons who have completed
substance abuse treatment or graduated from a state-approved job training program
have an abbreviated waiting period. (SB 152). This law also repealed a set-aside
authority enacted the previous year, which would have overlapped with some parts of
the new record-sealing law. See W. Va. Code §§ 61-11-26, -26a.
• Colorado previously made sealing available only for drug convictions, but in 2019
completely rewrote its chapter on criminal records to authorize sealing to a range of
convictions from petty offenses to less serious felonies, including but not limited to drug
crimes. Eligibility waiting periods range from one year for petty offenses, to three years
for misdemeanors and lower-level felonies, to five years for other eligible felonies (HB
1275). Eligibility may be extended if the DA consents, or if the court finds the petitioner’s
need for sealing is significant and there is minimal public safety risk. The law also
extends sealing relief to non-conviction records immediately upon disposition, and to
uncharged arrests in the state repository after a brief waiting period. See Colo. Rev. Stat.
§§ 24-72-701, et seq. Colorado’s amended procedures are discussed in #3.

Fifteen states took incremental steps to expand eligibility for sealing or expungement
under existing law, covering minor felonies, misdemeanors, first or youthful offenses,
decriminalized conduct, and pardoned offenses, as well as wrongful arrests:
• Iowa enacted its first authority to expunge adult conviction records, covering certain
misdemeanors, with an eight-year waiting period as well as other eligibility
requirements (SF 589). See Iowa Code § 901C.3. A person may be granted only one
expungement, unless multiple charges arose from one incident.
• Oklahoma - Beginning in 2014, and continuing each year since, Oklahoma has made it
progressively easier for individuals to have their criminal records expunged. In 2019 it
extended eligibility to two felonies instead of one, reduced waiting periods, authorized
expungement for felonies reclassified as misdemeanors, and allowed anyone that was
pardoned. (HB 1269; SB 815). See 22 Okla. Stat. Ann. § 18.
• Kentucky extended the number of class D felonies eligible for expungement after a fiveyear conviction-free period, and also authorized relief for charges dismissed without
prejudice after five years (SB 57). See Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 431.073, .076, .079. A
hearing is not required unless the prosecutor objects, but the court must in any case find
that the petitioner is rehabilitated. The new law reduced the filing fee from $500 to $50,
but it added an “expungement fee” of $250 payable upon granting relief. If an
expungement order is issued, the court and other agencies must “delete or remove” the
record from their computer systems “so that the matter shall not appear on official stateperformed background checks.”

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• Mississippi extended sealing to more felonies through its intervention court system,
and also provided for sealing of convictions for larceny of motor fuel. See Miss. Code
Ann. § 99-19-71. It also repealed the law mandating loss of a driver’s licenses upon
conviction of a drug offense (HB 1352; HB 940).
• Missouri expanded eligibility for expungement under its 2018 expungement law,
striking several minor property crimes from the list of ineligible offenses (SB 1). See Mo.
Rev. Stat. § 610.140.
• Montana will now allow district courts to expunge multiple misdemeanor convictions
from different counties at a single proceeding. However, a person remains eligible for
only one expungement order during their lifetime (HB 543). See Mont. Code Ann. § 4618-1101.
• Maryland authorized expungement of misdemeanor boating offenses (HB259).
• Nevada provided for sealing of decriminalized offenses, expungement of wrongful
arrests, and set aside of conviction after completion of certain specialty court programs
(AB 192; AB 222; AB 315).
• Vermont brought a variety of drug possession offenses and forgery within the definition
of a "qualifying crime" for purposes of sealing or expungement (both remedies are
potentially available and are functionally similar). It made some DUI offenses eligible
after 10 years (sealing only), and youthful burglary after 15 years. Heightened
procedural protections were made applicable to eligible DUI and burglary offenses. See
H460. See 13 V.S.A. § 7601. Vermont also authorized expungement of records of juvenile
diversion cases after two years without a subsequent conviction and payment of
restitution (S 105). See 13 V.S.A. § 7601.
• Louisiana made entitlement to a first offender pardon the basis for filing a motion for
expungement, except for violent or sexual crimes (SB 98). See La. Code Crim. Proc. Ann.
Ch. 34. Art. 978. Under the state constitution, pardon is automatic for persons convicted
of non-violent crimes, or a handful of crimes involving minor violence.
• North Carolina authorized expungement of criminal court records when a case is
remanded for juvenile adjudication (S413).
• Texas authorized nondisclosure of certain deferred adjudications for intoxication
offenses and for veterans, as well as expunction of the records after completion of a
mental health court program (HB 3582; HB 714; SB 562). See Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art.
17.144(a), 42.09.
• Arizona eased restrictions on setting-aside convictions: previously, a conviction was
ineligible if there was a victim under age 15; a new law specifies that non-felony offenses
with such victims are eligible (HB 2480). See Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-907.
• Oregon authorized sealing of pardoned offenses (SB 388). See Or. Rev Stat. § 144.650.
• Washington extended eligibility for vacatur and sealing to certain assault and robbery
felonies, as long as they did not involve a firearm or “sexual motivation” (HB 1041).
Wash. Rev. Code §§ 9.94A.640. See the next section for its procedural reforms.

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Seven states and D.C. passed laws authorizing vacatur, sealing, and/or expungement
relief for victims of human trafficking. It appears that almost every state now
authorizes relief for those whose crimes are linked to their circumstances as victims of
human trafficking, and many states have recently extended their relief laws from
prostitution-related offenses to any non-violent crime where a connection can be
shown.
• District of Columbia authorized vacatur of convictions for victims of human trafficking
for all offenses except a list of ineligible serious offenses; expungement of non-conviction
records for any offense (B22-0329). See D.C. Code §§ 18-1845 through 18-1847.
• Delaware enabled pardon or vacatur and expungement of non-violent convictions for
victims of human trafficking (HB 102). See Del. Code. Ann. tit. 11, § 787.
• North Carolina authorized expunction of most nonviolent misdemeanor or low-level
felony convictions for victims of human trafficking (H198). See N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A145.9.
• Tennessee provided for expungement of a prostitution conviction along with other nonviolent offenses for victims of human trafficking (SB 577). See Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-32105.
• Texas provided for non-disclosure of conviction or deferred adjudication for certain
prostitution, theft, and marijuana offenses for victims of human trafficking (SB 1801).
See Tex. Gov’t Code § 411.0728.
• Utah authorized vacatur for juvenile prostitution and related offenses for victims of
human trafficking (HB 108). See Utah Code § 78A-6-1114.
• Vermont enabled vacatur and expungement of offenses committed by victims of human
trafficking other than serious violent offenses. (H 460). 13 V.S.A. § 2658. (This bill also
revises the broader expungement and sealing scheme, reducing some waiting periods
and expanding the number of eligible conviction offenses)
• Nevada expanded the list of eligible offenses for vacatur and sealing relief for victims of
human trafficking (SB 173). See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 179.247.

In addition, Hawaii authorized vacatur of prostitution offenses after three crime-free
years, without requiring the defendant to establish victim status. (SB1039). See Haw.
Rev. Stat. § 712-1209.6. And Texas expanded eligibility for deferred adjudication to
victims of human trafficking (HB 2758). See Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 42A.054.
Five states provided for petition-based relief for marijuana offenses, in addition to
the two automatic marijuana sealing measures enacted by Illinois and New York,
discussed above:
• New Hampshire provided for annulment of arrests or convictions for marijuana
possession of ¾ of an ounce or less (HB 399). See N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 651:5-b.

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• Hawaii decriminalized and provided for expungement of marijuana possession of three
grams or less (HB1383). See Haw. Rev. Stat. § 706-622.5.
• Delaware decriminalized youthful marijuana possession and made clear than prior
convictions for such offenses can be expunged (SB 45). See Del. Code. Ann. tit. 16, § 4764.
• Oregon authorized expedited set asides and reductions of offense classifications for
qualifying marijuana convictions (SB 420; SB 975). See Or. Rev. Stat. § 475B.010 to
475B.545.
• Washington authorized expedited vacatur of misdemeanor marijuana convictions for
conduct committed at age 21 and older, with no waiting period or other eligibility
criteria (HB 5605). Wash. Rev. Code § 9.96.060(5).

3. Procedural reforms to existing relief schemes
Thirteen states enacted 20 laws to streamline and make more accessible and effective
existing relief mechanisms. Colorado, Washington, and New York enacted
particularly extensive and important procedural reforms. (Colorado and Washington
also expanded eligibility for sealing relief to new classes of felony offenses, as noted
in #2.)
• Colorado repealed, reorganized, and reenacted its entire chapter on criminal records:
major changes include shortened waiting periods and reduced filing fees for sealing less
serious drug convictions; a significantly simplified process for sealing uncharged arrests
and non-conviction records; expanded eligibility for conviction relief; expanded
mandatory juvenile expungement; authority for judges to discontinue juvenile
registration; and direction to a commission to take recommendations on automatic
sealing and alternatives to incarceration for drug offenses. (HB 1275; HB 1335; SB 8).
See Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 24-72-701, et seq.
• Washington substantially amended eligibility for sealing, including consolidating
waiting periods and easing requirements to satisfy financial obligations. Now the
necessary conviction-free period will be coextensive with the otherwise applicable
waiting period, and a person need not have paid all court debt in order to qualify for
relief if five years have elapsed since release from custody and all non-financial
requirements are met. As noted in #2, the bill also makes eligible for the first time
certain assault and robbery felonies, as long as they did not involve a firearm or “sexual
motivation” (HB 1041). Wash. Rev. Code §§ 9.94A.640, 9.94A.030, 9.94A.637 and
9.96.060.
• New York, in addition to providing for automatic sealing of marijuana convictions (see
#1), extended relief to cases in which there has been no docket entry for five years;
precluded the inclusion of such undisposed cases in background check reports; and
clarified that eligibility for sealing of petty offenses does not depend on the initial offense
charged (S1505; A7584). See N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law §§ 160.50; 160.55, 845-C, 845-D. New

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York also outlawed release of booking information and “mugshots” by police
departments without a law enforcement purpose (S1505).

Other states reduced or eliminated waiting periods and filing fees, streamlined
procedures, and expanded the effect of relief:
• Arkansas eliminated the 5-year waiting period for certain felonies and the 60-day
waiting period for misdemeanors and infractions to become eligible for record sealing,
eliminated the $50 filing fee for petitions to seal, and declared this to be “the first step in
a multi-step process to attempt to make the sealing of certain records of a person’s
criminal history that involve nonviolent and nonsexual offenses an automatic operation”
(HB1831). See Ark. Code. Ann. §§ 16-90-1406, 16-90-1419.
• New Hampshire created a “confidential” category of criminal history information,
including non-convictions and annulled convictions, to be subject to restrictions on
public access (HB 637). See N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 106:B-1.
• Wyoming provided for improved procedural and substantive rules for expungement of
juvenile records and the records of minors in need of supervision, including authorizing
the prosecutor to seek expungement, eliminating filing fees, and authorizing
expungement for minors admitted to a diversion program or granted a deferral or whose
case results in a non-conviction or non-adjudication. (HB 44). See Wyo. Stat. §§ 7-131401, 14-6-241, 14-6-440.
• Tennessee authorized the “disposal” of juvenile records 10 years after the young person
reaches age 18; repealed a $180 fee for petitioning for an expunction of certain criminal
offenses and a $350 fee for applying for expunction following diversion; and required
sentencing judges to notify those convicted of misdemeanors about eligibility for
expungement (SB 214; SB 797; SB 778). See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 18-1-202, 40-2-102.
• California prohibited the charging of a fee for sealing juvenile records (AB 1394).
See Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 781.1.
• Illinois extended a pilot program in Cook County for waiving filing fees for sealing or
expungement of non-convictions (SB482).
• Louisiana provided that only one filing fee is required in an application to expunge
multiple offenses resulting from the same arrest (HB 9). See La. Code Crim. Proc. Ann.
Ch. 34. Art. 983.
• Indiana and Utah specified that records of a collateral actions (i.e. forfeiture) related to
an expunged criminal record is also subject to expungement (IN SB 235; UT HB 212).
• Florida rolled-back a scheduled repeal of the confidentiality of treatment court records
(HB 7025), reorganized and clarified procedures for sealing and expunging nonconviction records (including directing development of a process for automatic sealing
of non-conviction records, discussed in #1); and created a streamlined expungement
process in cases of lawful self-defense (HB 7125). See Fla. Stat. §§ 943.0578, 943.0595.

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DIVERSIONARY DISPOSITIONS
In 2019, 18 states enacted 26 laws creating, expanding, reorganizing, or otherwise
supporting diversionary and deferred dispositions, to enable individuals charged
with crimes to avoid a conviction record. These new authorities reflect the clear trend
across the country toward increasing opportunities to steer certain categories of
individuals out of the system, through informal diversions, specialized treatment or
intervention courts, or completing probation conditions while judgment is deferred
or sentence suspended. Laws enacted in 2019 extended this favorable treatment to
juveniles, military service personnel and veterans, persons with mental illness, drug
and alcohol users, human trafficking victims, caregivers of children, and even certain
persons charged with sex offenses.
Of particular note, Colorado enacted a major revision of its juvenile records scheme,
the second in three years, making almost all juvenile offenses eligible for diversion,
and expungement automatic upon successful completion of diversion “without the
need for a court order,” as long as the prosecutor or victim do not object. Colorado
also authorized funding for mental health diversion courts. Tennessee and Vermont
also significantly expanded their programs of juvenile diversion, while Mississippi
reorganized its system of specialized courts as “intervention courts.” Oregon
modified diversion to avoid deportation consequences of a guilty plea. California
enacted perhaps the most novel (and promising) diversion program we’ve seen in
several years, authorizing the creation of pretrial diversion for primary caregivers of
children, who are charged with a misdemeanor or nonserious felony offenses, except
for offenses against the cared-after child. These and other diversion laws are
described briefly below:
• Colorado extended mandatory expungement of certain juvenile proceedings for
diversion and deferred dispositions, which had been excluded from the 2017 law that
authorized record relief for a variety of less serious juvenile offenses (HB 1335). No
hearing is held unless the prosecutor or victim object, in which case the court must
determine if “the rehabilitation of the juvenile has been attained to the satisfaction of
the court,” and that “the expungement is in the best interest of the juvenile and the
community.” The law also authorizes the court, in a case where the juvenile’s offense
requires registration but is eligible for expungement, to direct that registration be
discontinued at the same time the court directs expungement. In two other laws,
Colorado created and then extended the mental health criminal justice diversion pilot
program and mental health criminal justice grant program (HB 1263; SB 211). See Colo.
Rev. Stat. § 18-1.3-101.5.

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• Tennessee addressed diversion both in the context of juveniles (HB 1319) and those
charged with sex offenses (HB 624). The latter law revises provisions governing the
circumstances under which a person’s name must be removed from the sex offender
registry, to add successful completion of judicial diversion for certain offenses. See Tenn.
Code Ann. § 40-39-207. Juveniles will now be eligible for diversion not only after a plea,
but also after an adjudication. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 37-1-107(d). In its third new law
affecting diversion, Tennessee rescinded the $350 filing fee for a defendant applying for
expunction of an offense following the completion of a diversion program (HB 941).
• Vermont authorized its courts to expunge records of juvenile diversion cases after two
years without a subsequent conviction, if restitution has been paid. See S105. See 13
V.S.A. § 7601. This provision was amended by S105 to delete the age limits on the court’s
authority under this section, so that it no longer applies only where the defendant is
under 28 years of age. While referral for juvenile diversion remains in the control of the
district attorney, courts are authorized to impose a deferred sentence for a less serious
crime even if the prosecutor objects.
• Mississippi reorganized its system of specialized problem-solving courts (including
drug courts, mental health courts, and veterans’ courts) as “intervention courts,” and
made an Intervention Courts Advisory Committee responsible for coordinating the
policies and operation of these courts through the State (HB 1352). See Miss. Code Ann.
§§ 9-23-1, 9-23-9. These courts are primarily aimed at reducing the incidence of drug
abuse as a driver of criminal behavior, but they are aimed at different populations and
have differing eligibility requirements. These courts all offer the possibility that
successful participants in their programs may avoid conviction and become eligible for
expungement of the record upon successful completion.
• Oregon once again legislated to address collateral immigration consequences. Last year
the state limited sentences for minor crimes to 364 days to avoid deportation (much as
Colorado, New York and Utah did this year). This year a new law prohibited requiring a
guilty plea in connection with conditional discharge for controlled substance
offenses. However, the person charged must waive various rights, and will in future be
required to pay restitution and attorney fee charges (HB 3201). This law is also covered
in the section on immigration relief.

More incremental extensions of diversion:
• California authorized the creation of pretrial diversion for primary caregivers of
children, who are charged with a misdemeanor or non-serious felony offenses, except
for offenses against the cared-after child. (SB 394). See Cal. Penal Code § 1001.83.
• Missouri (HB 547) and Oregon (HB 2462) enacted laws aimed at giving service
members and veterans the benefit of diversion.
• Idaho (H78) and South Carolina (H3601) authorized diversion in DUI or public
disorderly conduct cases. See Idaho Code Ann. §19-3509; S.C. Code Ann. § 16-17-530.

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• Texas expanded eligibility for deferred adjudication to victims of human trafficking (HB
2758), See Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 42A.054; created a family violence pretrial
diversion pilot program in Bexar County (HB 3529); and authorized deferred
adjudication for certain intoxication offenses (HB 3582). See Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art.
17.144(a).
• Washington established a substance abuse diversion program (SB 5380), and
authorized a law enforcement grant program to expand alternatives to arrest and jail
processes (HB 1767). Wash. Rev. Code §§ 71.24.580, 36.28A.
• Nebraska authorized restorative justice as a form or condition of diversion (LB595).
• Nevada expanded eligibility for veterans and military service members specialty court
programs (AB222).
• Wyoming addressed diversion in its expansion of juvenile expungement in HB 44,
discussed in the section on expungement.
• Florida put in place a system of reporting for its various problem-solving courts (HB
7125).
• Minnesota authorized cities and counties to create driver’s license reinstatement
diversion programs (SF 8).
• Rhode Island authorized superior court diversion programs (SB 962). See R.I. Gen.
Laws § 8-2-39.3.
• West Virginia established a specialized court program for military service members.
(SB 40) See W. Va. Code §§ 62-16-1, et seq.

OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING AND EMPLOYMENT
In 2019, 26 states and the federal government enacted 41 laws limiting consideration
of criminal record in either employment or occupational licensing, or both. For the
first time, Congress joined the lively national conversation about the need to reduce
record-related barriers in the workplace that are inefficient and unfair.
1. Occupational licensing
Regulation of licensing accounted for 30 of these new laws, continuing a trend begun
in 2017 that has transformed the licensing policy landscape and opened
opportunities in regulated professions for many thousands of people. As explained
in our report on 2018 laws, these licensing reforms are particularly important in
supporting reintegration, since studies have shown that more than 25% of all jobs in
the United States require a government-issued license.
The new wave of licensing reforms resurrects a progressive approach to occupational
opportunity that dates from the 1970s, and it has been strongly influenced by model

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legislation developed by the Institute of Justice (IJ), a libertarian public interest law
firm, and the National Employment Law Project (NELP), a workers’ rights research
and advocacy group. Despite their origin in differing regulatory philosophies, the IJ
and NELP model laws reflect a similar approach: they limit the kinds of records that
may result in disqualification, rejecting vague “good moral character” and other
criteria irrelevant to competence, insisting that individual denials be grounded in
findings of rehabilitation and public safety with rigorous due process guarantees, and
making agency procedures more transparent and accountable. In the IJ model,
applicants can seek binding preliminary determinations of qualification, and agency
compliance is monitored by disclosure and reporting requirements. In December
2019, NELP issued a report summarizing recent legislative developments, and
proposing a comprehensive model law with recommendations to guide advocates.
In 2019, four states (Alabama, Mississippi, Nevada, and West Virginia) that
previously had no general law regulating consideration of criminal records in
occupational licensing took steps to limit licensing agencies’ ability to reject
individuals based on their record. Seven states (Arizona, Arkansas, Maryland,
North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas) made significant modifications to
existing licensing schemes, with Arizona enacting significant licensing reforms for a
third consecutive year. Texas takes the prize for most related laws in one session,
enacting no fewer than five licensing measures in 2019 alone—two of them of general
application and quite significant, and the other three opening opportunities in health
care occupations to people who may have been denied them earlier in life.
Delaware, Illinois, and Indiana made minor modifications to extensive schemes
enacted in the recent past. New York lifted mandatory disqualifications from several
licensed professions, allowing applicants for the first time to be considered under the
state’s general non-discrimination law. Several states took steps to facilitate
licensure in barbering and various construction trades, extended favored treatment
to occupations learned in prison. Florida, for example, enacted a five-year limit on
consideration of conviction in licensing those trades, as well as any other trade taught
in its prisons. Iowa also dipped its toe into the waters of licensing reform, regulating
barbering and several construction trades.
The new licensing laws borrow features of the comprehensive schemes enacted in
2018 in states like Indiana and New Hampshire, though in 2019 most states took a
more cautious approach to reining in licensing agencies. Some of the more familiar
provisions of these new laws are drawn from the IJ or NELP models:

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• Preliminary determination: Providing for a preliminary determination of qualification,
for a small fee with quick turnaround and written reasons;
• Relevant standards: Deleting vague standards like “good moral character” in favor of
standards likely to evidence low risk and rehabilitation;
• Prohibited considerations: Barring consideration of certain types of records and other
types after a specified time;
• Transparency: Requiring agencies to publish a list of disqualifying convictions and to
provide written reasons for rejection in individual cases; and
• Accountability: Including reporting requirements intended to monitor agency
compliance.

Significant new licensing laws:
• Alabama, until 2019, had no general law regulating consideration of conviction in
occupational licensure. SB163 created a process modeled on the Uniform Collateral
Consequences of Conviction Act, whereby a person who would otherwise be disqualified
by law from obtaining a particular occupational license may obtain from the circuit court
an “Order of Limited Relief” to dispense with that mandatory penalty and allow their
consideration by the licensing board on the merits (not yet codified). People with
federal offenses are eligible, as are people with out-of-state convictions who have
received a similar certificate in the jurisdiction of conviction. A person may not be
serving a prison sentence with more than six months left to serve, nor can they have
pending charges. There is a filing fee of $100 that may not be waived, and a rather
onerous process of document production – but no standards are specified, and the
court’s order is appealable.
• Arizona made significant modifications to its licensing laws for the third year in a row
(HB 2660), further modifying the standards set forth in Ariz. Rev. Stat § 41-1093.04(D)
to require an agency to conclude before denying a license both that (1) there is an
important state interest in “protecting public safety that is superior to the person’s right”
to licensure; and (2) the person was convicted within the past seven years of a felony
that has not been set-aside, including any offense the agency is specifically required to
consider by law, but excluding certain serious and dangerous crimes. Arizona’s setaside law is described here. Under the 2018 law, agencies are required beginning in
2019 to submit annual reports to the governor and the legislature that contain the
following information for the previous year: the number of petitions received from
persons with a criminal record for a preliminary determination; the number of petitions
granted and denied, and the types of offenses involved in each category. § 411093.04(I).
• Arkansas enacted the first revision of the state’s licensing laws in 10 years, prohibiting
consideration of most felony convictions after 5 crime-free years, as well as sealed
convictions, pardoned convictions, and non-conviction records (SB 451). See Ark. Code.

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Ann. § 17-2-102. The new law amends the Criminal Offender Rehabilitation Act of 2010
by establishing standards for waiving disqualification (though certain serious violent
crimes remain grounds for permanent disqualification), and by eliminating “good
character” and “moral turpitude” as licensing criteria. Licensing agencies must “state
explicitly in writing the reasons for a decision which prohibits the applicant from
practicing the trade, occupation, or profession if the decision is based in whole or in part
on conviction of a felony.” Among the legislature’s findings were that “Arkansas is taking
a leading role in the nationwide pursuit of reforms to the system of occupational
licensing,” and that the state was one of 11 states “chosen to participate in the
Occupational Licensing Policy Learning Consortium, an initiative funded by a grant from
the United States Department of Labor and supported in partnership with the National
Conference of State Legislatures, the Council of State Governments, and the National
Governors Association.”
• Florida added a new provision to its general licensing law to prohibit consideration of
a conviction more than five years old in licensing of barbers and cosmetologists,
plumbers, electricians, mechanical engineers, roofers, a number of other building trades,
and "any other profession for which the department issues a license, provided the
profession is offered to inmates in any correctional institution or correctional facility as
vocational training or through an industry certification program" (HB 7125). See Fla.
Stat. § 455.213 (“A conviction, or any other adjudication, for a crime more than 5 years
before the date the application is received by the applicable board may not be grounds
for denial of a [specified] license.”). Boards are permitted to consider violent and sexual
offenses but only if they “relate to the practice of the profession.” Persons are permitted
to apply for a license prior to their release from confinement or supervision. Starting on
October 1, 2019, and updated quarterly thereafter, each relevant licensing board must
compile a list indicating each crime used as a basis for a license denial. For each crime
listed, the board must identify the crime reported and for each license application the
date of conviction or sentencing date, whichever is later; and the date adjudication was
entered.
• Maryland prohibited occupational licensing boards from denying an application based
solely on a non-violent conviction if 7 years or more has passed since completion of
sentence without other charges, even if the agency determines that the conviction is
directly related to the occupation and even if “issuance of the license or certificate would
involve an unreasonable risk to property or to the safety or welfare of specific
individuals or the general public,” unless the person is required to register as a sex
offender (HB22). Md. Crim. Proc. Code §1-209(f)(1) and (2). Drug convictions are
specifically subject to a similar statutory policy and standards, although there is no
exception for crimes involving violence. See Md. State Gov’t Code § 10-1405(b). In 2018,
licensing agencies were required to report each year to the governor and the general
assembly on applications for licenses that would be eligible for relief under § 1-209,
including the number granted and the number denied.

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• Mississippi, until 2019, had no general law regulating consideration of conviction in
connection with occupational licensing. Under the Fresh Start Act of 2019, effective July
1, 2019, no one may be disqualified from engaging in any licensed occupation “solely or
in part because of a prior conviction of a crime, unless the crime for which an applicant
was convicted directly relates to the duties and responsibilities for the licensed
occupation” (SB 2781) (not yet codified). Only law licensure is excepted. Under Section
4, licensing authorities shall not include in their rulemaking “vague or generic terms
including, but not limited to, ‘moral turpitude,’ ‘any felony,’ and ‘good character.'” In
determining whether a conviction is “directly related,” the licensing authority shall
make its determination by a clear and convincing standard of proof based on such
factors as the seriousness of the crime, the passage of time, and evidence of
rehabilitation. The law provides for a preliminary determination of whether the
individual’s criminal record will disqualify them from obtaining a license, for which no
more than $25 may be charged. If a license is denied in whole or in part because of
conviction, the licensing authority shall notify the individual in writing of the reasons
and their right to a hearing. If an applicant’s criminal history does not require a denial
of a license under applicable state law, “any written determination by the licensing
authority that an applicant’s criminal conviction is directly related to the duties and
responsibilities for the licensed occupation must be documented in written findings for
each of the [applicable factors] “by clear and convincing evidence sufficient for a
reviewing court.” In any administrative hearing or civil litigation, “the licensing
authority shall carry the burden of proof on the question of whether the applicant’s
criminal conviction directly relates to the occupation for which the license is sought.”
• Nevada, until 2019, had no generally applicable law regulating consideration of
conviction in occupational licensure. New sections of Chapter 622 of the Nevada
Revised Statutes will require licensing agencies to develop and implement a process by
which a person with a criminal history may petition for a preliminary determination
whether that history will disqualify them from obtaining a license from the regulatory
body (HB 319). The agency must respond within 90 days and may not charge more than
$50. If the agency proposes disqualification, it “may” advise the person what can be
done to qualify. The agency also “may” post on its website a list of crimes that would
result in a disqualification determination. HB 319 also amended Nev. Rev. Stat. §
622.001 to require each licensing agency to submit quarterly reports to the legislature
the number of petitions received from people with a criminal record, the number of
determinations of disqualification, and the reasons for each. Under a new section of
Chapter 232B, the “Sunset Subcommittee” of the Legislative Commission is charged with
reviewing the reports of each agency “to determine whether the restrictions on the
criminal history of an applicant for an occupational or professional license are
appropriate.” Similar requirements are specifically imposed on various certifying
entities of state government and the courts through additions to various chapters of the

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Nevada statutes, for certifications as varied as court interpreter, firefighter, boiler
inspector, driller, milk tester, and medical marijuana provider.
• North Carolina’s general licensing non-discrimination law, enacted in 2013, prohibited
occupational licensing boards from automatically disqualifying an individual based on a
criminal record unless the board is otherwise authorized by law to do so. This law was
substantially amended in 2019 to enhance both substantive and procedural protections
for people with a record, and to extend its provisions to “state agency licensing boards”
as well as “occupational licensing boards” (HB770). HB770 amends N.C. Gen. Stat. § 93B8.1 to impose a “direct relationship standard” for all licenses; to require a board to
consider certain factors that before were discretionary, giving effect for the first time to
a drug treatment program and Certificate of Relief; and to exempt only licenses governed
by federal law. It provides for robust procedural protections for applicants, including
written reasons in the event of a denial and an appeal procedure. It also specifies that
individuals may at any time apply for a “predetermination” as to whether their record is
“likely” to be disqualifying, a determination that is “binding” on the board in the event of
a subsequent application. Finally, it requires each board to report annually to the
legislature and to the State Attorney General on how many applications it has received
from people with a record, and how many were granted and denied.
• Ohio’s legislature, on December 27, 2018, enrolled SB 255, which became law 10 days
later without action by the governor. Ohio licensing boards have been required since
2009 to promulgate regulations on crimes that would be disqualifying under a general
“substantial relationship” standard, and the new law requires these crimes to be listed
on the agency’s website. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 9.78(C)(2019). In addition, anyone with
a conviction may request at any time that a licensing authority make a preliminary
determination whether their conviction will be disqualifying. § 9.78(B). A fee of no
more than $25 may be charged. Within thirty days of receiving a request, the licensing
authority must inform the person of its decision. The decision is not binding if the
licensing authority determines that the person’s convictions differ from what was
included in the request. Id. Finally, SB 255 enacts an elaborate legislative sunset review
procedure that will presumably include consideration of how licensing agencies treat
individuals with a criminal record under the applicable “least restrictive alternative”
standard.
• Oklahoma enacted a comprehensive revision of its occupational licensing laws, with
certain generally applicable provisions contained in a new Section 4000.1 of Title 59,
and
conforming
provisions
added
into
specific
licensing
schemes
(HB1373). Section 4000.1(b) provides that a person with a criminal history record may
request an initial determination from the licensing agency of whether his or her criminal
history record would potentially disqualify him or her from obtaining the desired
license, including before obtaining any required education or training for such
occupation. Section 4000.1(C) requires each state entity with oversight authority over
a particular licensed occupation or profession must “list with specificity any criminal

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offense that is a disqualifying offense for such occupation.” Any disqualifying offense
must “substantially relate” to the duties and responsibilities of the occupation and “pose
a reasonable threat to public safety.” “Substantially relate” is defined to mean the nature
of the criminal conduct for which the person was convicted has a direct bearing on the
fitness or ability to perform one or more of the duties or responsibilities necessarily
related to the occupation.” “Pose a reasonable threat” means “the nature of the criminal
conduct for which the person was convicted involved an act or threat of harm against
another and has a bearing on the fitness or ability to serve the public or work with others
in the occupation.” Each entity must respond within 60 days and may charge no more
than $95. In addition, the specific regulatory schemes of dozens of professions and
occupations were amended by HB1373 to strike references to “good moral character”
and “moral turpitude,” and to include the two requirements of disqualification
(“substantial relationship” and “reasonable threat”) in the conjunctive.
• Texas enacted five separate laws affecting the occupational licensing process for people
with a criminal record. The most comprehensive of the new laws deleted a provision in
existing law that allowed disqualification based on a conviction unrelated to the
occupation within five years of application, and otherwise made major modifications to
the standards and procedures for obtaining a license in most occupations (other than
the medical field) (HB 1342). See Tex. Occ. Code § 53.022, et seq. The law creates a new
“restricted license” aimed at facilitating licensure in air-conditioning and electrical work
for people returning to the community from prison. See §§ 51.357, 51.358. HB 1342
also tightens procedures and standards applied by licensing agencies and requires an
agency to explain its reasons for denial in writing. Certain violent and sexual crimes,
and drug felonies are excepted from the requirements of the law. A second law,
prohibits licensing agencies affected by HB 1342 from considering arrests not resulting
in conviction or placement on deferred adjudication community supervision (SB
1217). A third law modifies standards that apply to certain specific licenses, primarily
by deleting overbroad categories of disqualification or antiquated references to moral
integrity (podiatrist, midwife, electrician, animal breeder, auctioneer) (HB1531). Two
narrower laws loosened restrictions on licenses for health care providers and massage
therapists (HB 1865; HB 1899).
• Utah authorized preliminary determinations as to whether a criminal record would
disqualify individuals from obtaining a license in an occupation or profession regulated
by Title 58 of the Utah code (HB 90). Utah Code Ann. § 58-1-310. A fee may be charged
(although, unlike most similar laws enacted in other states since 2018, no cap is
established). Within 30 days of receipt of a completed application, the Division of
Occupational and Professional Licensing must make a written determination, and the
decision may include additional steps the individual could take to qualify for a
license. Id. This new law also amends the definition of “unprofessional conduct” in § 581-501(2), based on which a license may be denied or restricted. Existing law defines
“unprofessional conduct” to include, among other things, a plea or conviction for a crime

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of moral turpitude or a crime that bears a “reasonable relationship” to safe or competent
performance of the occupation. § 58-1-501(2). The new law replaces “reasonable
relationship” with “substantial relationship.”
• West Virginia, until 2019, had no general law regulating consideration of conviction in
licensure, except a rule that that licensing authorities could not consider expunged
convictions. W. Va. Code § 5-1-16a(b). Under a new law, licensing agencies, with a few
exceptions (law, medicine, law enforcement, security guards), are subject to an
elaborate scheme of regulations for consideration of criminal records (HB118). A new
W. Va. Code § 30-1-24 addresses "Use of criminal records as disqualification of
authorization to practice," and provides that boards may not disqualify based on
conviction "unless that conviction is for a crime that bears a rational nexus to the
occupation requiring licensure." §30-1-24(a). In addition, it discourages the use of the
term "moral turpitude,” unless the underlying crime satisfies the “rational nexus”
standard. § 30-1-24 (b). Standards to determine "rational nexus" include seriousness
of crime, passage of time and evidence of rehabilitation. It does not require the board to
give reasons for denial, though it does permit a candidate who has been denied, to
reapply after 5 years (with violent and sexual crimes subject to a longer period of
disqualification). It also provides for a preliminary determination within 60 days (but
no cap on application fee as with other similar laws). Finally, it reenacts specific
licensing schemes that prohibit convictions within the last five years, deleting provisions
requiring applicants to have “good moral character.”
Other more incremental new licensing laws:
• Delaware generally applies a “substantial relationship” standard to occupational
licensing ship, and also requires licensing boards to promulgate regulations specifically
identifying the crimes that are “substantially related” to the profession or occupation. In
2019, additional amendments were made to further limit how criminal record may be
considered in three licensing schemes:
massage therapy (HB 7),
plumbing/HVAC/refrigeration (HB 124) and electricians (SB 43). These licensing
boards may not consider pending charges, or convictions more than 10 years old as
"substantially related" if there have been no intervening convictions, excluding sexual
offenses. The bills also reduce the mandated waiting period for consideration of waiver
to three years for violent felonies, to two years for other felonies, and they reduce the
level of disqualifying parole supervision.
• Illinois amended the Department of Professional Regulation Law, to define mitigating
factors for the purposes of provisions concerning the licensure, certification, or
registration of applicants with criminal convictions, and provide that mitigating factors
are not a bar to licensure, but instead provides guidance for the Department when
considering licensure, registration, or certification for an applicant with criminal history
(HB2670). See 20 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 2105/2105-131. The law is an evident effort to
regulate the discretion of the DPR, which may have been treating mitigating factors as

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•

•

•
•

•

•

31

mandatory and their absence as a basis for denial. A second law provides that a
certificate of good conduct may be granted to relieve an eligible person of any
employment, occupational licensing, or housing bar (rather than just an employment
bar) (HB3580). See 730 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/5-5.5-25. However, a certificate of good
conduct does not limit any employer, landlord, judicial proceeding, administrative,
licensing, or other body, board, or authority from accessing criminal background
information; nor does it hide, alter, or expunge the record. The existence of a certificate
of good conduct does not preclude a landlord or an administrative, licensing, or other
body, board, or authority from retaining full discretion to grant or deny the application
for housing or licensure.
Indiana made minor changes to the sweeping 2018 overhaul of Indiana’s occupational
licensing scheme as it affects individuals with criminal records, including some minor
changes for dietitians, dentists, dental hygienists, audiologists, and management
appraisal companies (HB1569).
Iowa narrowed barriers to licensing based on conviction for electricians, plumbers,
mechanical trades and contractors, and barbers (SF 567). See Iowa Code Ann. §§ 103.6
et seq., 105.10 et seq. The new law permits waiver of disqualification based on conviction
that is deemed “related to” the occupation. It limits disqualification to specified sexual
and violent offenses, and strikes provisions allowing reprimand, revocation, suspension
based on any felony conviction. For barber licenses, provides that a person who
completes a barbering apprenticeship training program while in state custody shall be
allowed to take the licensing examination.
Montana passed a joint resolution calling for an interim study of occupational licensing
barriers based on criminal conviction (SJ 18).
New Hampshire created two categories of criminal history information to be
maintained by the state police records repository, one “confidential” and the other
“public” (HB 637). See N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 106:B-1. “Confidential criminal history
information” (defined to include non-conviction records and records of convictions that
have been annulled) will no longer be included in background checks for employment
and licensing purposes.
New York modified a variety of specific licensing schemes that imposed mandatory bars
to licensure based on conviction, to make licensing decisions discretionary and
specifically subject to the nondiscrimination provisions of Article 23-A (S1505 (2020
Budget), Part II, subpart A). Among the specific licenses affected are operation of games
of chance, banking, education councils, real estate agent, notary public, work activity
employer, and driving school.
Oregon loosened standards for employment in care-giving positions, providing that in
conducting fitness determinations pursuant to criminal records checks for certain
employees in agencies providing direct care to vulnerable populations, state licensing
agencies “may not consider” convictions more than 10 years old, non-conviction records
(including diversions), marijuana convictions, DUI more than five years old (SB

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725). See Or. Rev. Stat. § 181A.195. The new standards do not apply to certain specified
serious offenses, or to positions in residential care centers, home health aides, childcare
centers or workers, or EMTs.
• Vermont authorized a study of licensure to consider unnecessary barriers to licensure.
H104

2. Employment
Compared to the profusion of occupational licensing legislation, 2019 was not a
banner year for new fair employment laws, with no laws comparing to the
comprehensive nondiscrimination schemes enacted by California and Nevada in
2017. Still, nine states and the federal government enacted a total of 13 new
measures to promote employment opportunities for people with a criminal record.
Most of the new 2019 laws (like those in 2018) continue the expansion of so-called
“ban-the-box” laws in public and private employment. The most significant of these
laws in terms of scope and likely impact was the extension of limits on applicationstage inquiries into criminal record to federal agency employers and federal
contractors as part of the massive year-end Defense Authorization Act of 2020. When
this law takes effect in December 2021 (two years after its enactment), covered
employers will be prohibited from inquiring into an applicant’s criminal record until
a conditional offer of employment has been made, and the law will also preclude
making inquiry of individuals seeking federal contracts and grants.
Two states for the first time enacted state-wide ban-the-box laws applicable to public
employment (Maine and North Dakota), while two other states that already covered
public employment extended their laws to private employers (Colorado and New
Mexico). This brings the total of states with any ban-the-box law to 35 plus D.C., and
the number of states with ban-the-box laws applicable to private employers to 13.
The National Employment Law Project keeps a running tab of new “ban-the-box”
laws, and reported in July 2019 that 35 states and more than 150 municipal and
county ordinances now limited criminal background checks at the application stage.
In addition, NELP’s fact sheet on the Fair Chance to Compete Act of 2019 is an
excellent summary of the provisions and likely impact of the new federal law.
The only 2019 enactment that directly prohibits consideration of criminal record in
employment is Illinois’ extension of its Human Rights Act to bar employers and
housing providers from considering arrests not resulting in conviction and juvenile
adjudications. (This law already applied to juvenile and sealed/expunged records.

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Its provisions were also extended for the first time to housing discrimination, as
described in Section VI.) Since 2019 was also a year that saw doubt cast on the legality
of the EEOC’s extension of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to cover employment
discrimination based on criminal record, more states may step up in coming years. As
of the end of 2019, only four states (California, Hawaii, New York, and Wisconsin)
include criminal record discrimination in their general fair employment schemes, and
all but California’s law date from the 1970s. Colorado, Connecticut, and Nevada have,
like Illinois, more recently prohibited some employers from considering certain
criminal records, but those prohibitions are not integrated into a broader
nondiscrimination law.
Significant employment laws:
• Federal agencies and contractors were for the first time directly regulated by a fair
employment law through the Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act of 2019, enacted as
part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020 (S.1790). This law, long soughtafter by the advocacy community, amends Titles 2, 5 and 28 of the U.S. Code to prohibit
employers in all three branches of the federal government, and private-sector federal
contractors, from asking about job applicants’ arrest and conviction record until a
conditional offer of employment has been extended. The Act’s “ban the box” prohibition
on pre-offer inquiries extends to records that have been “sealed or expunged pursuant
to law,” and sealed records of juvenile adjudications. 5 U.S.C. §§ 9201(4)(B) and (C),
9206. Certain types of employment would be excepted, including employment that
otherwise requires inquiry into criminal history, and employment in the military, in law
enforcement, and in national security. The Director of OPM is permitted to designate
additional exemptions, including positions that involve “interaction with minors, access
to sensitive information, or managing financial transactions.” § 9202(B) and (C). The
law contains provisions for enforcement and sanctions. In additional to extending banthe-box requirements to employment on federal contracts, including defense contracts,
it would also prohibit agency procurement officials from asking persons seeking federal
contracts and grants about their criminal history, until an “apparent award” has been
made. Post-offer, it would appear that non-conviction records could continue to be the
subject of inquiry by federal hiring and contracting authorities, as well as any records
that have been sealed or expunged – but only if they are otherwise available to criminal
justice agencies for background checks. The Act will become effective two years after
enactment, or December 28, 2021.
• Colorado extended a ban-the-box requirement to private employers, making Colorado
the 13th state to do so (HB 1025). See Colo. Rev. Stat. § 8-2-130. This law prohibits
inquiry into criminal history on an “initial” application form, but a broad exception
allows employers to review an applicant’s publicly available criminal history report at
any time. Compare Colorado’s law regulating consideration of criminal records in public

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employment, which requires that an applicant be a “finalist” or that an applicant receive
a “conditional offer of employment” before public employers may perform a background
check, Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-5-101(3)(b). HB 1025 also lacks language analogous to
Colorado’s public employment law that requires employers to exclude non-convictions,
arrests, pardons, expunged and sealed records, and orders for collateral relief from
consideration when making hiring decisions. As a result, the law leaves room for private
employers to deny employment merely for an arrest or a charge that does not result in
a conviction, or for records where a person has obtained judicial or executive relief. The
new law includes enforcement provisions that authorize the Department of Labor and
Employment to investigate complaints and impose civil penalties for violations. The law
does not apply to certain positions that federal, state, or local law or regulations forbid
employing individuals with a specific criminal history, or where an employer is required
by law to conduct a criminal history background check for the position, or if the position
is designated to participate in a government program to encourage employment of
people with criminal histories. HB 1025 has an effective date of August 2, 2019, and the
law includes a two-year phase-in period for its provisions: (1) beginning on September
1, 2019, the prohibitions on consideration of criminal records will apply to private
employers with 11 or more employees; and (2) beginning on September 1, 2021, the
provisions will apply to all private employers.
• Illinois amended its Human Rights Act to broaden the category of criminal records that
may not be used to deny employment. As amended, the Act prohibits inquiries into or
use of an “arrest record,” defined as “an arrest not leading to a conviction, a juvenile
record, or criminal history record information ordered expunged, sealed, or
impounded” (SB1780). See 775 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/1-103 through 5/3-103.
Previously the law covered only discrimination based on "the fact of an arrest" and
expunged or sealed records. At the same time, this law does not prohibit use of criminal
records obtained under federal or state laws requiring a background check, or under
authority of the Illinois Criminal Records Act “in evaluating the qualifications and
character of a prospective employee.” SB 1780 for the first time extended its nondiscrimination provisions to “real estate transactions” as well, as is discussed in the final
section of this report.
• Maine enacted a prohibition on inquiries about an individual’s criminal history on
applications for employment for a position in state government, “except when, due to
the nature and requirements of the position, a person who has a criminal history may be
disqualified from eligibility for the position” (HP 133). The provision covers positions
in the legislative, executive or judicial branch of State Government or a position with a
quasi-independent state entity or public instrumentality of the State, but not “a school
administrative unit, municipality, county or other political subdivision of the State.” See
Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 5, §792.
• New Mexico added a “ban-the-box” provision applicable to private employment, making
New Mexico the 12th state to do so (SB 96). See N.M. Stat. Ann. § 28-2-3.1. Under this

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law, an employer may not make a criminal history inquiry on the application, “but may
take into consideration an applicant’s conviction after review of the applicant’s
application and upon discussion of employment with the applicant.” In addition, it
expressly permits the employer to notify the public or an applicant that the law or the
employer’s policy would disqualify an applicant who has a certain criminal history from
employment in specific positions with the employer. This law is substantially weaker
than the provision that applies to public employment, which allows a background check
only after an applicant has been selected as a finalist and prohibits consideration of
records of arrest not resulting in conviction, and misdemeanor convictions (unless they
involve “moral turpitude”).
• North Dakota banned inquiries into or consideration of criminal history by public
employers “until the applicant has been selected for an interview by the employer” (HB
1282). N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-33 -05.1, et seq. (school districts are excluded). This does
not apply to the department of corrections or to “a public employer that has a statutory
duty to conduct a criminal history background check or otherwise take into
consideration a potential employee’s criminal history during the hiring process.”
Other employment laws:
• Arkansas relaxed employment requirements for licensed school personnel with a
conviction, if the conviction has been sealed, expunged, or pardoned, deleting a
requirement that the conviction be more than ten years old (HB 1544). See Ark. Code §
6-17-410.
• Colorado created a second chance scholarship for youth previously committed to the
division of youth services (SB 231). See Colo. Rev. Stat. § 8-2-130.
• Illinois authorized “workforce intermediaries” and lawyers providing pro bono services
to individuals with disqualifying convictions applying for health care worker positions
to initiate background checks and request a waiver (SB 1965). See 225 Ill. Comp. Stat.
Ann. 46/15.
• New Hampshire limited inclusion of non-conviction and annulled records in
background checks in the employment context. See entry in licensing section on HB 637,
above.
• New York prohibited employment discrimination against persons whose criminal
charges have been adjourned in contemplation of dismissal (S1505). See N.Y. Exec. Law
§ 296.
• South Carolina enacted a law generally tightening restrictions on employment of
persons required to register as sex offenders, but also authorizing circuit courts to
approve such a person’s employment at any location where a minor is present and the
person's responsibilities or activities would include instruction, supervision, or care of
a minor or minors (S 595). S.C. Code § 63-13-1110.
• Texas required the corrections department to provide persons released from prison
with documents to help with employment (HB 918). A second law makes a defendant

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IMMIGRATION CONSEQUENCES

who is a veteran placed on community supervision for a misdemeanor offense eligible
to participate in a veterans reemployment program, and to obtain an order of
nondisclosure upon successful completion of the program (HB 714). Tex. Gov. Code §
501.0155; Tex. Code Crim. Proc. 43A.321.

IMMIGRATION CONSEQUENCES
In 2019, four states took steps enabling non-citizens charged with crimes to avoid
deportation based on sentence or guilty plea. Colorado, New York, and Utah capped
prison sentences for misdemeanors at 364 days, to avoid mandatory deportation
based on a one-year prison sentence, with the first two states giving the law
retroactive effect. New York also restricted the dissemination of certain criminal
record information to federal immigration authorities. Oregon revised its law on
deferred judgments to prohibit guilty pleas that would trigger deportability. Oregon
also, along with Nevada, regulated the questioning of criminal defendants or
detained individuals about their immigration status.
• Colorado passed three laws aimed at mitigating the immigration consequences of
conviction. The first two were intended to avoid mandatory deportation for any crime
sentenced to one year or more in prison. See 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2). To avoid this
consequence, Colorado reduced the maximum jail sentence for various offenses from
one year to 364 days. (HB 1148; HB 1263). Colorado also authorized individuals to
withdraw guilty pleas where they had pled guilty pursuant to a deferred adjudication or
drug offense dismissal scheme, and thereby unknowingly exposed themselves to
immigration consequences (federal immigration law treats such pleas as convictions,
even though state law may not, see 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101(a)(48)(A), 1227(a)(2)) (SB 30). See
Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-1-410.5.
• New York not only capped misdemeanor penalties at 364 days, but it gave the provision
retroactive effect by authorizing resentencing in cases where the penalty originally
imposed would result in “severe collateral consequences.” (S 1505). See N.Y. Penal Law
§ 70.15(1-a). In addition, New York barred access by federal immigration authorities to
some motor vehicle records, which may include criminal record information (A3675).
• Utah reduced the maximum prison term for misdemeanors to “one year with a credit
for one day,” but made no provision for retroactive application (HB 244). See Utah Code.
Ann § 76-3-204.
• Oregon removed a guilty plea requirement from the controlled substances diversion
statute, making this benefit available to non-citizens without exposing them to
deportation (HB 3201). The law specifically provides that “[e]ntering into a probation
agreement does not constitute an admission of guilt” and is “not sufficient to warrant a
finding or adjudication of guilt by a court.” See Or. Rev. Stat. § 475.245. As noted in the
diversion section, however, the bill added a provision requiring defendants to agree to

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OTHER RELIEF MEASURES

pay restitution to victims and court-appointed counsel fees as a condition of
participation, with no provision for waiver. Another new Oregon law prohibits a
criminal court from inquiring about a defendant’s immigration status, and requires the
court to allow a defendant additional time to consider a plea after being informed of
immigration consequences (HB 2932). See Or. Rev. Stat. § 135.385. In 2017, Oregon
limited sentences for misdemeanors to 364 days to avoid deportation (much as
Colorado, New York and Utah did this year).
• Nevada passed a law prohibiting anyone from questioning a person in a jail or other
detention facility about their immigration status, unless they first informed the detainee
of the purpose of the questioning (AB 376).

In addition, Indiana reduced selected misdemeanors to non-criminal civil infractions,
taking them out a criminal category, and avoiding immigration consequences (SB 336).

OTHER RELIEF MEASURES
1. Driver’s License Suspension
Six states repealed laws mandating suspension or loss of a driver’s license for nondriving offenses or for failure to pay court costs:
• Mississippi (HB 1352) and New York (S 1505) repealed provisions making loss of a
driver’s license a mandatory penalty for a drug crime.
• Montana (HB 217) and Virginia (HB 1700) repealed laws mandating loss of a driver’s
license for failure to pay court costs.
• New Jersey addressed both of these issues, repealing provisions mandating suspension
of driver’s licenses for conviction of drug and other non-driving crimes, for failure to pay
court debt, and for failure to pay child support (S1080).
• Florida modified or deleted provisions for driver’s license suspension or revocation for
underage tobacco and alcohol sales or consumption, misdemeanor theft, and drug
crimes (HB 7125). Fla. Stat. §§ 569.11, 877.112, 562.11, 562.111, 812.0155, 322.055,
322.056.

In addition, Minnesota authorized cities and counties to create a driver’s license
reinstatement diversion program (SF 8).
2. Housing discrimination
Illinois extended two laws, including its Human Rights Law, to bar private parties’
reliance on certain criminal records to deny housing. Previously both laws applied
only to employment.

37

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OTHER RELIEF MEASURES

• Illinois barred housing discrimination through an amendment to its Human Rights Law
to prohibit discrimination based on “arrest record” in any “real estate transaction,”
including both rental and sale of real property. The term “arrest record” was defined to
include non-conviction records, juvenile adjudications, and sealed or expunged
convictions. (SB1780). See 775 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/1-103 through 5/3-103. (This
same enactment also extended the law’s employment discrimination provisions to nonconviction records, since the other categories of records were already covered.)
• Illinois also extended the effect of its certificate of good conduct to lift mandatory
licensing and housing bars, in additional to employment bars. (SB 3580). However, a
certificate of good conduct does not limit any employer, landlord, judicial proceeding,
administrative, licensing, or other body, board, or authority from accessing criminal
background information; nor does it hide, alter, or expunge the record. Nor does the
existence of a certificate of good conduct does not preclude a landlord or an
administrative, licensing, or other body, board, or authority from retaining full
discretion to grant or deny the application for housing or licensure.

3. Pardon procedure
Nevada and South Dakota took steps to further streamline their already productive
pardon systems:
• The Nevada legislature proposes to repeal a requirement in the state constitution that
the governor must approve all clemency grants by the Board of Pardons Commissioners,
on which the governor sits as a member (SJR 1A). This proposal, which also requires the
Board to meet at least quarterly, must be approved by popular vote in 2020.
• The South Dakota legislature authorized a hearing panel of the Board of Pardons to
make clemency recommendations to the governor, rather than the entire Board as under
preexisting law. (HB 1005). See S.D. Codified Laws §§ 24-13-4.6, 24-15A-10, 24-15A-11.

4. Miscellaneous relief provisions
Among the more notable miscellaneous collateral consequences provisions enacted
in 2019 is Utah’s new law giving courts authority to terminate sex offender
registration obligations, and loosening restrictions on driver’s licenses for people on
the registry, along with Tennessee’s law authorizing relief from registration for
successful completion of judicial diversion for certain offenses. Another interesting
new law is Connecticut’s establishment of a high-level study group to make
recommendations on reducing various forms of discrimination based on criminal
history.

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OTHER RELIEF MEASURES

• Utah loosened restrictions on persons required to register as sex offenders, including
rescinding a requirement that they renew driver’s licenses annually, expanding the
number of offenses that qualify for removal from the registry after 5 years, and enacting
a new provision authorizing the court to terminate registration after 10 years (HB298).
• Tennessee revised provisions governing the circumstances under which a person’s
name must be removed from the sex offender registry, to add successful completion of
judicial diversion for certain offenses (HB 624). See Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-39-207.
• Connecticut established a “Council on the Collateral Consequences of a Criminal
Record,” composed of high-ranking members of the legislature and the executive branch
and representatives of advocacy groups and unions, and charged it with making
recommendations by February 1, 2020, for legislation to reduce or eliminate
discrimination based on criminal history (HB 6921).
• Louisiana relaxed restrictions on fostering and adoption for people with convictions
(HB 112).

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CONCLUSION

CONCLUSION
The legislative landscape at the end of 2019, as described in this report, shows states
continuing to experiment with different ways of avoiding or mitigating the collateral
consequences of arrest and conviction. Limiting access to records through sealing
and expungement remains the most prevalent and popular form of remedy, with a
new focus on when and how record-clearing relief is delivered. Looking ahead to the
2020 legislative season, we expect more attention to removing access barriers like
filing fees, satisfaction of court debt, adversary hearings, and lack of professional
assistance. Most states do not provide for automatic expungement of non-conviction
records, which would seem the easiest target of reform both in theory and practice.
Automated record relief appears to be the wave of the future, but it will require
simplification of eligibility criteria and improved records management systems by
courts and repositories to facilitate development of algorithms, as well as better
coordination of state and federal records systems.
In addition, many states still do not authorize courts to defer conviction dispositions,
at least if the prosecutor does not agree. Many prosecutors seem out of step with the
philosophy animating record reform in legislatures (although there is a growing
“progressive prosecutors” movement that recognizes how important reintegration is
to public safety).
In the coming year, elimination of bars to occupational licensing will surely continue
to be a top legislative priority, given its bipartisan popularity. Other related issues
that should be addressed are the extension of state fair employment and housing laws
to protect people with a criminal record, and elimination of abusive background
checking practices.
Finally, the push for restoration of voting rights is likely to continue, at a minimum,
to extend the franchise to all persons living in the community, without regard to
whether they have completed the terms of their sentence or paid off all court-ordered
financial obligations.
In sum, the reform trajectory established in 2019 makes us optimistic that 2020 will
be an even more productive year in the progress toward reintegration of people with
a criminal record.

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APPENDIX: NEW LAWS BY STATE

See CCRC annual reports on new legislation describing new restoration and record relief laws from
2013 through 2018, accessible at http://ccresourcecenter.org/resources-2/resources-reports-andstudies/: Reducing Barriers to Reintegration: Fair chance and expungement reforms in 2018 (2019);
Second Chance Reforms in 2017: Roundup of new expungement and restoration Laws (2018); Four
Years of Second Chance Reforms, 2013 – 2016: Restoration of Rights & Relief from Collateral
Consequences (2017).
1

2

See supra, note 1.

See, e.g., J.J. Prescott & Sonja B. Starr, Expungement of Criminal Convictions: An Empirical Study, __
HARV. L. REV. __, forthcoming (2020), https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3353620;
Colleen Chien, The Second Chance Gap, MICH. L. REV., forthcoming (rev: March 23, 2019),
https://ssrn.com/abstract=326533.
3

In this report we use the terms “automated” and “automatic” interchangeably to describe record
relief provisions that do not require individual petitions or even an individual request. While many
states have enacted relief that is mandatory upon a request and determination of eligibility, we do not
consider this process “automatic” in the same way as a process designed to obviate access barriers
entirely.
4

It bears noting that a number of states already provide for sealing of non-conviction and juvenile
records without requiring the subject to apply for relief. See 50-state comparison chart on Judicial
Expungement, Sealing and Set-aside,” CCRC Restoration of Rights Project,
http://ccresourcecenter.org/state-restoration-profiles/50-state-comparisonjudicial-expungementsealing-and-set-aside/.
5

See Model Law on Non-Conviction Records (Collateral Consequences Res. Ctr. 2019),
http://ccresourcecenter.org/model-law-on-non-conviction-records/.
6

See Beth Avery, Maurice Ensellem, & Han Lu, Fair Chance Licensing Reform: Opening Pathways for
People with Records to Join Licensed Professions, National Employment Law Project (Dec. 2019),
https://s27147.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/FairChanceLicensing-v4-2019.pdf;
7

See Beth Avery, Ban the Box: U.S. Cities, Counties, and States Adopt Fair Hiring Policies, National
Employment Law Project (last accessed: Feb. 16, 2019, 12:06pm),
https://www.nelp.org/publication/ban-the-box-fair-chance-hiring-state-and-local-guide/; Model
Collateral Consequences in Occupational Licensing Act (Institute for Justice, Oct. 31 2019),
https://ij.org/activism/legislation/model-legislation/model-collateral-consequences-reduction-act/.
8

See, e.g., Governor Murphy’s statement accompanying his “conditional veto” in August 2019 of an
early version of the bill that would become the Clean Slate law that he signed on December 19, 2019.
In that statement, after applauding the legislature’s extension of eligibility for petition-based
expungement, he noted the example set by Pennsylvania’s own Clean Slate law the year before:
9

“Only those individuals who actually apply for an expungement, meaning those who are aware of this
potential remedy and have the wherewithal to navigate the legal process or afford an attorney to assist
them, would be able to seek the relief afforded by the expungement process. This method is not the
most efficient means for clean slate expungement, nor will it deliver relief to all eligible individuals who
need it. To avoid this shortcoming, we should follow the lead of Pennsylvania and undertake the
necessary steps to establish an automated, computerized expungement system that would allow people
with multiple convictions for less serious, non-violent crimes who maintain a clean record for ten years
to clear their criminal histories without having to hire a lawyer or wade through a paperwork-intensive
process. Our system is not set up to do this now, and undertaking this task will require buy-in and

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APPENDIX: NEW LAWS BY STATE

commitment from all three branches of government. On behalf of the executive branch, that is a
commitment I am more than willing to make.”
See https://www.state.nj.us/governor/news/news/562019/docs/S3205CV.pdf. Senator Sandra
Cunningham, Senate President Sweeney and Speaker Coughlin were particularly effective partners in
the negotiations that resulted in the bill that was approved by the legislature in December.
See 50-state comparison chart on Loss and Restoration of Civil Rights & Firearms Privileges, CCRC
Restoration of Rights Project, http://ccresourcecenter.org/state-restoration-profiles/chart-1-lossand-restoration-of-civil-rights-and-firearms-privileges/.
10

In 2018, New York’s governor issued the first in a series of executive orders under his pardon
power restoring the vote to individuals on parole, and Louisiana passed a law allowing people to
register if they have been out of prison for at least five years. See the New York and Louisiana
profiles from the CCRC Restoration of Rights Project.
11

A coalition of individuals and organizations supporting Amendment 4 has brought several federal
court challenges to the legislation as violating the U.S. constitution, arguing that by disqualifying
persons with outstanding LFOs, even if a person has no ability to pay and even if the court has
converted an LFO to a civil lien, the law violates the Equal Protection and Due Process guarantees of
the Fourteenth Amendment. They also argue that the law burdens the fundamental right to vote, is an
unconstitutional poll tax, infringes on free speech and association, and was enacted with a racially
discriminatory purpose. In October, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction, holding that
Florida cannot deny the plaintiffs their “right to vote so long as the state’s only reason for denying the
vote is failure to pay an amount the plaintiff is genuinely unable to pay.” However, that ruling only
applies to 17 plaintiffs in the case, and the judge deferred addressing several other issues until after
trial later this year, giving the legislature an opportunity to address inability to pay. Florida appealed
that ruling to the Eleventh Circuit, which has heard oral argument and is expected to render a
decision later this year. The coalition behind Amendment 4 is also raising money to help people pay
off their debts.
12

There is no single accepted definition of the various terms used to describe record relief. While the
term “expungement” is commonly understood to mean destruction or deletion of the record, such
that many assume that “sealing” is a functionally distinct less thorough form of relief, the two terms
are used interchangeably in many states’ laws. More recently, the term “record-clearance” has been
used to describe the effect of record relief, but that term also does not come with a neat functional
definition. The need to find common ground on terminology is tremendously important if we are to
establish a firm foundation for record reform. The Model Law on Non-Conviction Records, developed
by a group of practitioners and scholars under CCRC’s leadership, adopts a definition of the term
“expungement” that balances strict limits on access to promote reintegration with the legitimate
needs of law enforcement, researchers, and individual subjects of records. Under § 1(c)(3) of the
Model Law, the term “expunge” is defined to mean “sequestration,” which makes the record
unavailable unless disclosure is authorized by law or court order, but does not destroy it:
13

In rejecting destruction, the model law recognizes society’s significant interests in preserving
the records of arrests and criminal proceedings—including those records to which access is
restricted—for a variety of purposes, including scholarly research, government accountability,
oversight, and compliance. In addition, the subject of a record often has an interest in
maintaining access to their own record. For example, non-citizens in removal proceedings may
be irreparably harmed if they cannot obtain a certified copy of their record in order to
demonstrate that an arrest or charge did not result in conviction. Accordingly, the model law
does not provide that a record should be completely deleted from a records system or
otherwise destroyed. (Even in state relief schemes that define expungement relief to include
destruction, commonly at least one copy of the record is still preserved.)

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APPENDIX: NEW LAWS BY STATE

Model Law on Non-Conviction Records (Collateral Consequences Res. Ctr. 2019),
http://ccresourcecenter.org/model-law-on-non-conviction-records/ (footnote omitted).
14

See Prescott & Starr, supra note 3.

15

See supra note 13.

According to Sharon Dietrich, one of the architects of the Pennsylvania Law, when the statutory
implementation schedule is complete in mid-2020, access to more than 32 million non-conviction and
misdemeanor records held by the Pennsylvania courts and state police will have been closed off to the
public. Extensive cooperation between the Commonwealth’s records custodians was necessary to
make this law operational, and to implement a system of notifying those whose records had been
sealed. Pennsylvania’s automated process, which will be completed for older cases in mid-June 2020,
is described in detail in the Pennsylvania profile from the Restoration of Rights Project.
16

See supra, note 13. It is likely to prove time-consuming and costly to automate nuanced
assessments of statutory eligibility criteria on court data systems that may have substantial
technological limitations. In fact, after a 2018 Vermont law directed a study group to report on “the
viability of automating the process of expunging and sealing criminal history records,” the group
concluded that automation needs further study due to technical and resource challenges related to
the state’s case management system. See Department of State’s Attorneys and Sheriffs, Expungement
Report Pursuant to Act 178 at 10-11 (November 1, 2018), available at
http://ccresourcecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/ACT178-Report_.pdf.
17

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APPENDIX: NEW LAWS BY STATE
Jump to:
Alabama (1)
Arkansas (5)
Arizona (3)
California (4)
Colorado (10)
Connecticut (1)
District of Columbia (1)
Delaware (6)
Florida (3)
Hawaii (2)
Idaho (1)
Iowa (2)
Illinois (9)
Indiana (3)
Kentucky (1; 1 EO)

44

Louisiana (3)
Maryland (3)
Maine (1)
Minnesota (1)
Missouri (2)
Mississippi (3)
Montana (4)
North Carolina (3)
North Dakota (3)
Nebraska (2)
New Hampshire (3)
New Jersey (3)
New Mexico (2)
Nevada (8)
New York (5)

Ohio (1)
Oklahoma (4)
Oregon (7)
Rhode Island (1)
South Carolina (1)
South Dakota (1)
Tennessee (6)
Texas (13)
United States (1)
Utah (6)
Virginia (2)
Vermont (3)
Washington (5)
West Virginia (3)
Wyoming (1)

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

AL

Issue

Occupational
Licensing

Bill

Summary

SB163

Alabama, until 2019, had no general law regulating consideration of conviction
in occupational licensure. SB163 created a process modeled on the Uniform
Collateral Consequences of Conviction Act, whereby a person who would
otherwise be disqualified by law from obtaining a particular occupational
license may obtain from the circuit court an “Order of Limited Relief” to
dispense with that mandatory penalty and allow their consideration by the
licensing board on the merits (not yet codified). People with federal offenses
are eligible, as are people with out-of-state convictions who have received a
similar certificate in the jurisdiction of conviction. A person may not be serving
a prison sentence with more than six months left to serve, nor can they have
pending charges. There is a filing fee of $100 that may not be waived, and an
onerous process of document production – but no standards are specified, and
the court’s order is appealable.

AR

Employment

HB1544

HB1544 relaxed employment requirements for licensed school personnel with
a conviction, if the conviction has been sealed, expunged, or pardoned, deleting
a requirement that the conviction be more than ten years old. See Ark. Code §
6-17-410.

AR

Firearms

HB1678

HB1678 makes minor revisions to conviction-related criteria for license to carry
a concealed handgun. See Ark. Code. Ann. § 5-73-309.

SB451

SB451, Arkansas’ first major amendment to its occupational licensing law in ten
years, established standards for consideration of felonies in licensing, building
on a 2010 law. For a long list of specific felony offenses, convictions may not be
considered that have been sealed or pardoned, or if five crime-free years have
passed, and disqualification may be waived upon consideration of specified
factors. See Ark. Code. Ann. § 17-2-102. Specified serious violent and sexual
offenses are excepted. Licensing boards may not use “vague” or “generic” terms,
including “moral turpitude” and “good character” or consider arrests that lack a
subsequent conviction. The bill also amends specific licensing schemes.

AR

Occupational
Licensing

AR

Record Relief

HB1831

HB 1831 eliminates the 5-year waiting period for certain felonies to become
eligible for record sealing and eliminates the 60-day waiting period for
misdemeanors and infractions. See Ark. Code. Ann. § 16-90-1406. It also
eliminates the $50 filing fee for petitions to seal. § 16-90-1419. This bill declares
itself as “the first step in a multi-step process to attempt to make the sealing of
certain records of a person’s criminal history that involve nonviolent and
nonsexual offenses an automatic operation.”

AR

Voting Rights

SB573

SB573 restores voting rights for juveniles prosecuted as adults by making them
eligible for discharge from parole after five years without incident, upon which
their voting rights are restored. See Ark. Code Ann. § 16-93-622.

HB2660

The third occupational licensing bill in past three years, HB2660 further amends
standards for consideration of criminal record to highlight the public safety
standard, prohibit consideration of most felonies after 7 years even if they have
not been set-aside, and requiring dangerous felonies to have been set aside. See
Ariz. Rev. Stat § 41-1093.04.

AZ

Occupational
Licensing

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State

Issue

Bill

Summary

AZ

Record Relief

HB2480

HB2480 expands eligibility for setting-aside convictions. Previously, a
conviction was ineligible if there was a victim under age 15. This bill specifies
that non-felonies with such victims are eligible. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-907.

HB2080

HB 2080 substantially revises the laws relating to restoration of civil rights. For
a first felony offense (state or federal), civil rights, other than those pertaining
to firearms, are automatically restored upon completion of probation, or upon
an unconditional discharge from imprisonment, and upon payment of any
restitution. See Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-906, -907. A further requirement to pay
fines as a condition of restoration was repealed by HB 2080, and those unpaid
restitution is eligible for a judicial restoration procedure. This bill also revises
the law on firearms restoration to authorize the sentencing court to restore
rights to most people with felony convictions two years after completion of
sentence. Id. Note that automatic restoration of civil rights for first offenses
does not include restoration of firearms rights. People convicted of “serious”
offenses must wait 10 years to regain firearms rights, and those convicted of
“dangerous” offenses are permanently ineligible unless pardoned. See § 13-910.

AZ

Voting Rights;
Firearms

CA

Diversion

SB 394

SB 394 authorizes the creation of pretrial diversion for primary caregivers of
children, charged with a misdemeanor or nonserious felony offense, and not an
offense against the cared-after child. See Cal. Penal Code § 1001.83.

CA

Jury Service

SB 310

SB 310 restores the right to jury service upon completion of sentence, including
community supervision, but excluding persons required to register as a sex
offender for a felony. See § Cal Code. Civ. Pro 203.

CA

Record Relief

AB
1076

AB 1076 creates a new process of automatic record relief for some convictions
and non-conviction records. Eligibility for relief under the new automatic
process is similar but not identical to eligibility under the existing petitionbased process. The bill also limits disclosure of records that have been
dismissed or sealed. The new law is effective on January 1, 2021, and its
automatic relief has prospective effect only. See Cal. Penal Code §§ 851.93;
1203.425.

CA

Record Relief

AB
1394

AB 1394 prohibits the charging of a fee for sealing a juvenile record. See Cal.
Welf. & Inst. Code § 781.1.

CO

Diversion

SB 211

SB 211 extends the mental health criminal justice diversion pilot program and
mental health criminal justice grant program. See Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-1.3101.5.

CO

Employment

HB
1025

HB 1025 makes ban-the-box (prohibiting employers from inquiring about
applicants’ criminal histories until later in the hiring process) applicable to
private employment, becoming the 13th state to do so. See Colo. Rev. Stat. § 8-2130.

CO

Employment

SB 231

SB 231 creates a second chance scholarship for youth previously committed to
the division of youth services. See Colo. Rev. Stat. § 8-2-130.

CO

Immigration

HB
1148

HB 1148 reduces the maximum sentence from one-year to 364 days for certain
misdemeanors, to avoid immigration consequences.

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State

Issue

Bill

Summary

CO

Immigration

SB 30

SB 30 provides procedures for courts to vacate guilty pleas, in order to avoid
immigration consequences. This provision applies to pleas that have already
been withdrawn pursuant to a deferred judgment or dismissal of charges, but
may nonetheless carry immigration consequences. See Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-1410.5.

CO

Diversion,
Immigration

HB
1263

HB reduces the maximum jail sentence for certain offenses from one year to 364
days for immigration purposes and creates the mental health criminal justice
grant program. See Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-1.3-101.5.

CO

Record Relief

HB
1275

HB 1275—along with HB 1335 and SB 8—repealed, reorganized, and reenacted
Colorado’s entire chapter on criminal records: major changes include shortened
waiting periods and reduced filing fees for sealing less serious drug convictions;
a significantly simplified process for sealing uncharged arrests and nonconviction records; expanded eligibility for conviction relief; expanded
mandatory juvenile expungement; authority for judges to discontinue juvenile
registration; and direction to a commission to take recommendations on
automatic sealing and alternatives to incarceration for drug offenses. See Colo.
Rev. Stat. §§ 24-72-701, et seq.

CO

Record Relief,
Diversion

HB
1335

See HB 1275 summary, above.

CO

Record Relief

SB 8

See HB 1275 summary, above.

CO

Voting Rights

HB
1266

HB 1266 restored the vote to persons on parole supervision. See Col. Rev. Stat.
§§ 1-1-104(49.3), 17-2-102(14), 1-2-101(3).

Other

HB
6921

HB 6921 established a “Council on the Collateral Consequences of a Criminal
Record,” composed of high-ranking members of the legislature and the
executive branch and representatives of advocacy groups and unions, and
charged it with making recommendations by February 1, 2020, for legislation
to reduce or eliminate discrimination based on criminal history.

Record Relief

B220329

B22-0329 authorizes expungement for victims of human trafficking, including
expungement and vacatur for convictions for all offenses except a list of
ineligible serious offenses; expungement of non-conviction records for any
offense. See D.C. Code §§ 18-1845 through 18-1847.
Three bills limit how criminal record may be considered in three licensing
schemes: massage therapy (HB 7), plumbing/HVAC/refrigeration (HB 124) and
electricians (SB 43). These licensing boards may not consider pending charges,
or convictions more than 10 years old as "substantially related" if there have
been no intervening convictions, excluding sexual offenses. The bills also reduce
the mandated waiting period for consideration of waiver to three years for
violent felonies, to two years for other felonies, and they reduce the level of
disqualifying parole supervision.

CT

DC

DE

Occupational
Licensing

HB 7

DE

Occupational
Licensing

HB 124

47

See HB 7 summary, above.

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

Issue

Bill

Summary

DE

Occupational
Licensing

SB 43

DE

Record Relief

HB 102

HB 102 authorizes pardon or vacatur and expungement of non-violent
convictions for victims of human trafficking. See Del. Code. Ann. tit. 11, § 787.

See HB 7 summary, above.

DE

Record Relief

SB 37

Delaware, which previously only authorized convictions expungement for
pardoned misdemeanors, enacted a dramatic expansion of record relief, making
it mandatory for cases “terminated in favor of the accused” and certain less
serious misdemeanors, and discretionary for more serious misdemeanors and
eligible felonies. Mandatory relief is administered by the state records
repository, while discretionary relief is administered by the courts, with
variable waiting periods and limits on number of offenses. See Del. Code Ann.
tit. 11, §§ 4372, et seq. Delaware’s new law stops short of automating relief in
“mandatory” cases, since people must apply to the repository before their cases
will be considered.

DE

Record Relief

SB 45

SB 45 decriminalized youthful marijuana possession and made clear than prior
convictions for such offenses can be expunged. See Del. Code. Ann. tit. 16, §
4764.

FL

Occupational
Licensing,
Record Relief,
Diversion,
Driver’s
Licenses

HB
7125

HB 7125 rewrites provisions on expungement and sealing of non-conviction
records, provides for automation, see Fla. Stat. § 943.0595; enacts new provision
authorizing expungement for lawful self-defense; requires licensing boards to
post disqualifying offenses, § 943.0578; limits licensing boards’ ability to deny
based on criminal record, including a 5-year look-back provision for various
occupations, including those for which individuals are trained in state prisons,
§ 455.213; puts in place a system of reporting for problem-solving courts; and
modifies or deletes provisions for driver’s license suspension or revocation for
underage tobacco and alcohol sales or consumption, misdemeanor theft, and
drug crimes, §§ 569.11, 877.112, 562.11, 562.111, 812.0155, 322.055, 322.056.

FL

Record Relief

HB
7025

HB 7025 rolled-back a scheduled repeal of the confidentiality of treatment court
records.

FL

Voting Rights

In the wake of a 2018 ballot initiative to restore the right to vote to people
convicted of felonies, other than murder or sexual offenses, upon “completion
SB 7066 of all terms of sentence including parole or probation,” SB 7066 (among other
things) interprets “completion of sentence” to include payment of fines, fees,
and court costs (SB 7066). See Fla. Stat. § 98.0751

HI

Record Relief

HB1383

HB1383 decriminalizes and provides for expungement of marijuana possession
of three grams or less. See Haw. Rev. Stat. § 706-622.5.

HI

Record Relief

SB1039

SB1039 authorizes vacatur of prostitution offenses after three crime-free years,
without requiring the defendant to establish victim status. See Haw. Rev. Stat.
§ 712-1209.6.

48

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State

IA

Issue

Occupational
Licensing

Bill

Summary

SF 567

SF 567 narrows barriers to licensing based on conviction for electricians,
plumbers, mechanical trades and contractors, and barbers. See Iowa Code Ann.
§§ 103.6 et seq., 105.10 et seq. The new law permits waiver of disqualification
based on conviction that is deemed “related to” the occupation. It limits
disqualification to specified sexual and violent offenses, and strikes provisions
allowing reprimand, revocation, suspension based on any felony conviction. For
barber licenses, provides that a person who completes a barbering
apprenticeship training program while in state custody shall be allowed to take
the licensing examination.
Iowa enacted its first authority to expunge conviction records, covering certain
misdemeanors, with an eight-year waiting period as well as other eligibility
requirements. See Iowa Code § 901C.3. A person may be granted only one
expungement, unless multiple charges arose from one incident.

IA

Record Relief

SF 589

ID

Diversion

H78

IL

Employment,
Occupational
Licensing

IL

IL

Employment,
Housing

Occupational
Licensing

49

H78 authorizes diversion in DUI cases. See Idaho Code Ann. §19-3509.

SB1965

SB 1965 authorizes “workforce intermediaries” and lawyers providing pro bono
services to individuals with disqualifying convictions applying for health care
worker positions to initiate background checks and request a waiver. See 225
Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 46/15.

SB1780

SB 1780 amends the Human Rights Act to broaden the category of criminal
records that may not be used to deny employment. As amended, the Act
prohibits inquiries into or use of an “arrest record,” defined as “an arrest not
leading to a conviction, a juvenile record, or criminal history record information
ordered expunged, sealed, or impounded.” See 775 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/1-103
through 5/3-103. Previously the law covered only discrimination based on "the
fact of an arrest" and expunged or sealed records. At the same time, this law
does not prohibit use of criminal records obtained under federal or state laws
requiring a background check, or under authority of the Illinois Criminal
Records Act “in evaluating the qualifications and character of a prospective
employee.” SB 1780 also bars housing discrimination based on “arrest record”
in any “real estate transaction,” including both rental and sale of real property.
The term “arrest record” is defined to include non-conviction records, juvenile
adjudications, and sealed or expunged convictions. (This same enactment also
extended the law’s employment discrimination provisions to non-conviction
records, since the other categories of records were already covered.)

HB2670

HB2670 amends the Department of Professional Regulation Law, to define
mitigating factors for the purposes of provisions concerning the licensure,
certification, or registration of applicants with criminal convictions, and provide
that mitigating factors are not a bar to licensure, but instead provides guidance
for the Department when considering licensure, registration, or certification for
an applicant with criminal history. See 20 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 2105/2105-131.
The law is an evident effort to regulate the discretion of the DPR, which may
have been treating mitigating factors as mandatory and their absence as a basis
for denial.

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State

IL

Issue

Occupational
Licensing,
Housing

Bill

Summary

HB3580

HB3580 provides that a certificate of good conduct may be granted to relieve an
eligible person of any employment, occupational licensing, or housing bar
(rather than just an employment bar). See 730 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/5-5.5-25.
However, a certificate of good conduct does not limit any employer, landlord,
judicial proceeding, administrative, licensing, or other body, board, or authority
from accessing criminal background information; nor does it hide, alter, or
expunge the record. The existence of a certificate of good conduct does not
preclude a landlord or an administrative, licensing, or other body, board, or
authority from retaining full discretion to grant or deny the application.

IL

Record Relief

HB1438

HB1438 and SB 1557 authorize the automatic expungement of arrests and
convictions for “minor cannabis offenses” (not more than 30 grams, no
enhancements, and no violence); and petition-based expungement for more
serious marijuana convictions. See Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 2630/5.2.

IL

Record Relief

SB1557

See HB1438 summary, above.

IL

Record Relief

SB482

SB482 extends a pilot program in Cook County for waiving filing fees for sealing
or expungement of non-convictions

IL

Voting Rights

HB2541

The Re-Entering Citizens Civics Education Act provides for peer-led programs
to teach civics to prisoners who are soon to be released.

IL

Voting Rights

SB2090

SB2090 facilitates voting by mail for eligible persons detained in county jails
and provides information about voting upon release from jail and prisons.

IN

Immigration

SB 336

SB 336 reduces selected misdemeanors to non-criminal civil infractions, taking
them out of a person's criminal history entirely.

IN

Occupational
Licensing

HB
1569

HB1569 makes minor changes to the sweeping 2018 overhaul of Indiana’s
occupational licensing scheme as it affects individuals with criminal records,
including some minor changes for dieticians, dentists, dental hygienists,
audiologists, and management appraisal companies.

IN

Record Relief

SB 235

SB 235 specifies that records of a collateral actions (i.e. forfeiture) related to an
expunged criminal record is also subject to expungement.

KY

Record Relief

SB 57

SB 57 allows discretionary expungement of Class D felonies with a ten-year
waiting period, allows a person against whom charges have been dismissed
with or without prejudice to petition for expungement, sets time limits for filing
petitions, with a five-year eligibility waiting period in cases dismissed without
prejudice, and amends the requirement for a certificate of eligibility to apply
only if a petition or application seeks expungement of a conviction. See Ky. Rev.
Stat. Ann. §§ 431.073, .076, .079. The new law reduced the filing fee from $500
to $50, but it added an “expungement fee” of $250 payable upon granting relief.

KY

Voting Rights

Exec.
Order

The new governor, Gov. Andy Beshear, issued an executive order restoring the
vote and eligibility for office to an estimated 140,000 individuals convicted of
non-violent felonies who have completed their sentences.

LA

Employment

HB 112

HB 112 relaxes restrictions on fostering and adoption for people with
convictions.

50

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State

Issue

Bill

Summary

LA

Record Relief

HB 9

HB 9 provides that only one filing fee is required in an application to expunge
multiple offenses resulting from the same arrest. See La. Code Crim. Proc. Ann.
Ch. 34. Art. 983.

SB 98

SB 98 makes entitlement to a first offender pardon the basis for filing a motion
for expungement, except for violent or sexual crimes. See La. Code Crim. Proc.
Ann. Ch. 34. Art. 978. Under the state constitution, pardon is automatic for
persons convicted of non-violent crimes, or a handful of crimes involving minor
violence.

SB236

SB236 lowers the conviction-related bar to jury eligibility. See Md. Code Ann.,
Cts. & Jud. Pro. Code § 8-103(b)(4). Previously, people were ineligible to serve
on a jury if they had received a sentence of more than six months of
imprisonment, and were not pardoned, or had a pending charge for an offense
punishable by more than six months imprisonment; under the new law, these
six-month periods are extended to one year.

HB22

HB22 prohibits occupational licensing boards from denying an application
based solely on a non-violent conviction if 7 years or more has passed since
completion of sentence without other charges, even if the agency determines
that the conviction is directly related to the occupation and even if “issuance of
the license or certificate would involve an unreasonable risk to property or to
the safety or welfare of specific individuals or the general public,” unless the
person is required to register as a sex offender. See Md. Crim. Proc. Code § 1209(f). Drug convictions are specifically subject to a similar statutory policy and
standards, although there is no exception for crimes involving violence. See Md.
State Gov’t Code § 10-1405(b).

LA

Record Relief

MD

Jury Service

MD

Occupational
Licensing

MD

Record Relief

HB259
HB259 authorizes expungement of misdemeanor boating offenses.
(SB394)

ME

Employment

HP 133
/ LD
170

MN

Diversion,
Driver’s
Licenses

SF 8

MO

Diversion

HB 547

MO

Record Relief

SB 1

51

HP 133 prohibits inquiries about an individual’s criminal history on
applications for employment for a position in state government, “except when,
due to the nature and requirements of the position, a person who has a criminal
history may be disqualified from eligibility for the position.” The provision
covers positions in the legislative, executive or judicial branch of State
Government or a position with a quasi-independent state entity or public
instrumentality of the State, but not “a school administrative unit, municipality,
county or other political subdivision of the State.” See Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 5,
§792.
SF 8 authorizes cities and counties to create driver’s license reinstatement
diversion programs.
HB 547 creates a veteran treatment court.
SB 1 expands eligibility for expungement under the 2018 expungement law,
striking several minor property crimes from the list of ineligible offenses. See
Mo. Rev. Stat. § 610.140.

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

MS

Issue
Driver’s
Licenses,
Record Relief,
Diversion

Bill

Summary

HB
1352

HB 1352 extends sealing to more felonies; repeals the law mandating loss of a
driver’s licenses upon conviction of a drug offense; reorganizes the system of
specialized problem-solving courts (including drug courts, mental health courts,
and veterans’ courts) as “intervention courts”; and creates an Intervention
Courts Advisory Committee responsible for coordinating the policies and
operation of these courts through the State. See Miss. Code Ann. §§ 99-19-71, 923-1, 9-23-9.

MS

Occupational
Licensing

Mississippi previous had no general law regulating consideration of conviction
in occupational licensing. Under the Fresh Start Act of 2019, no one may be
disqualified from engaging in any licensed occupation “solely or in part because
of a prior conviction of a crime, unless the crime for which an applicant was
convicted directly relates to the duties and responsibilities for the licensed
occupation” (not yet codified). Only law licensure is excepted. Under Section 4,
licensing authorities shall not include in their rulemaking “vague or generic
terms including, but not limited to, ‘moral turpitude,’ ‘any felony,’ and ‘good
character.'” In determining whether a conviction is “directly related,” the
licensing authority shall make its determination by a clear and convincing
standard of proof based on such factors as the seriousness of the crime, the
passage of time, and evidence of rehabilitation. The law provides for a
SB 2781 preliminary determination of whether the individual’s criminal record will
disqualify them from obtaining a license, for which no more than $25 may be
charged. If a license is denied in whole or in part because of conviction, the
licensing authority shall notify the individual in writing of the reasons and their
right to a hearing. If an applicant’s criminal history does not require a denial of
a license under applicable state law, “any written determination by the licensing
authority that an applicant’s criminal conviction is directly related to the duties
and responsibilities for the licensed occupation must be documented in written
findings for each of the [applicable factors] “by clear and convincing evidence
sufficient for a reviewing court.” In any administrative hearing or civil litigation,
“the licensing authority shall carry the burden of proof on the question of
whether the applicant’s criminal conviction directly relates to the occupation
for which the license is sought.”

MS

Record Relief

HB 940

HB 940 authorizes expungement of convictions for larceny of motor fuel.

MT

Driver’s
Licenses

HB 217

HB 217 repeals a law mandating loss of a driver’s license for failure to pay court
costs.

MT

Occupational
Licensing

SJ 18

SJ 18 calls for an interim study of occupational licensing barriers for criminal
conviction.

HB 543

HB 543 allows district courts to expunge multiple misdemeanor convictions
from different counties at a single proceeding. However, a person remains
eligible for only one expungement order during their lifetime. See Mont. Code
Ann. § 46-18-1101.

MT

Record Relief

52

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State

NC

Issue

Occupational
Licensing

Bill

Summary

H770

North Carolina’s general licensing non-discrimination law, enacted in 2013,
prohibited occupational licensing boards from automatically disqualifying an
individual based on a criminal record unless the board is otherwise authorized
by law to do so. This law was substantially amended in 2019 to enhance both
substantive and procedural protections for people with a record, and to extend
its provisions to “state agency licensing boards” as well as “occupational
licensing boards.” HB770 amends N.C. Gen. Stat. § 93B-8.1 to impose a “direct
relationship standard” for all licenses; to require a board to consider certain
factors that before were discretionary, giving effect for the first time to a drug
treatment program and Certificate of Relief; and to exempt only licenses
governed by federal law. It provides for robust procedural protections for
applicants, including written reasons in the event of a denial and an appeal
procedure. It also specifies that individuals may at any time apply for a
“predetermination” as to whether their record is “likely” to be disqualifying, a
determination that is “binding” on the board in the event of a subsequent
application. Finally, it requires each board to report annually on how many
applications it received from people with a record, and how many were granted
and denied.

NC

Record Relief

H198

H198 authorizes victims of human trafficking to obtain expunction for most
nonviolent misdemeanor and low-level felony convictions that result from
having been a victim, without waiting periods or other eligibility requirements.
See N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A-145.9.

NC

Record Relief

S413

S413 authorizes expungement of criminal court records when a case is
remanded for juvenile adjudication.

HB
1282

HB 1282 bans inquiries into or consideration of criminal history by public
employers “until the applicant has been selected for an interview by the
employer.” See N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-33 -05.1, et seq. (school districts are
excluded). This does not apply to the department of corrections or to “a public
employer that has a statutory duty to conduct a criminal history background
check or otherwise take into consideration a potential employee’s criminal
history during the hiring process.”

ND

Employment

ND

Record Relief

HB
1256

HB 1256 is North Dakota’s first general authority for sealing conviction records:
it authorizes people with misdemeanor and most felony convictions to apply
after a charge-free waiting period of three and five years, respectively, with
certain exceptions. See N.D. Cent. Code §§ 12-60.1, et seq. People with violent
offenses must wait ten years (coextensive with the period for firearms
restoration). The court may grant the petition if it finds that the petitioner has
completed the sentence, including payment of restitution, and has shown that
"the benefit to the petitioner outweighs the presumption of openness of the
criminal record," applying a multi-factor test. The court may dispense with the
hearing if the prosecutor agrees.

ND

Record Relief

HB
1334

HB 1334 specifies that DUI convictions may be sealed after seven years.

NE

Diversion

LB595

LB595 authorizes restorative justice as a form or condition of diversion.

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COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

Issue

Bill

Summary

NE

Record Relief

LB 354

LB 354 enhances procedures for automatic sealing of juvenile records. See Neb.
Rev. Stat. §§ 43-2,108.01 through 43-2,108.05.

NH

Record Relief

HB 399

HB 399 provides for annulment of arrests or convictions for marijuana
possession of ¾ of an ounce or less (HB 399). See N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 651:5-b.

HB 637

HB 637 created two categories of criminal history information to be maintained
by the state police records repository, one “confidential” and the other “public.”
See N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 106:B-1. “Confidential criminal history information”
(defined to include non-conviction records and records of convictions that have
been annulled) will no longer be included in background checks for
employment and licensing purposes.

NH

Record Relief,
Occupational
Licensing

NH

Voting Rights

HB 486

HB486 revised the law disqualifying people with a conviction from holding
public office, making the restriction applicable only during actual incarceration,
so that it is now coincident with the period of felony disenfranchisement. See
N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 607-A:2(I). The bill also directs corrections officials to
inform people leaving custody of their eligibility to register to vote.

NJ

Driver’s
Licenses

S1080

S1080 repeals provisions mandating suspension of driver’s licenses for
conviction of drug and other non-driving crimes, for failure to pay court debt,
and for failure to pay child support.

NJ

Record Relief

A4154

A4154, New Jersey’s clean slate law, directs the State to develop and implement
a process by which all but certain convictions will be automatically made
“inaccessible to the public” ten years after completion of the sentence imposed
for the most recent conviction. Expungement will be immediate for nonconviction records at the time of disposition, including records of deferred
adjudications. Finally, the same bill reduces indictable marijuana and hashish
convictions either to disorderly offenses or makes them non-criminal,
depending upon the amount of the drug involved, for purposes of immediate
expungement. A task force was established to implement the automated feature
of the new law. Pending that implementation, and as an interim measure,
pending development of the automated process, the law provides that
individuals eligible for relief under the “clean slate” provision may petition the
court for relief beginning in June 2020, when the new law takes effect. If the
person is determined by the court to be eligible, expungement is mandatory, and
a prior expungement is not disqualifying as under the regular expungement law.
The 2019 law also extends eligibility and improves procedures for petitionbased discretionary relief from courts, including reducing the waiting period to
five years the repeal of filing fees, which is available to a broader range of cases
than those eligible for automated relief. See N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2C:52, et seq.

NJ

Voting Rights

A5823

A5823 limits disenfranchisement to a period of actual incarceration, even in
cases where a court has ordered loss of the vote for election law violations. See
N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 19:4, et. seq.

54

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State

Issue

NM

NM

Employment

Record Relief

Executive
Clemency

NV

NV

NV

Immigration

Occupational
Licensing

55

Bill

Summary

SB 96

SB 96 adds a “ban-the-box” provision applicable to private employment, making
New Mexico the 12th state to do so. See N.M. Stat. Ann. § 28-2-3.1. Under this
law, an employer may not make a criminal history inquiry on the application,
“but may take into consideration an applicant’s conviction after review of the
applicant’s application and upon discussion of employment with the applicant.”
In addition, it expressly permits the employer to notify the public or an applicant
that the law or the employer’s policy would disqualify an applicant who has a
certain criminal history from employment in specific positions with the
employer.

HB 370

HB 370 authorizes “expungement” (defined as sealing) upon petition of most
non-conviction records, and of conviction records for all but the most serious
violent and sexual crimes. See N.M. Stat. Ann. § 29-3A-5. Courts are authorized
to limit public access to all but a limited category of non-conviction records after
a one-year waiting period, so long as no charges are pending against the
individual. Courts are also authorized to seal the record of most convictions
after conviction-free waiting periods ranging from two to ten years after
completion of sentence. At a hearing, the court must apply a multifactor test to
determine that “justice will be served by an order to expunge.”

SJR 1A

SJR 1A is a resolution proposing to repeal a requirement in the state constitution
that the governor must approve all clemency grants by the Board of Pardons
Commissioners, on which the governor sits as a member. This proposal, which
also requires the Board to meet at least quarterly, must be approved by popular
vote in 2020.

AB 376

AB 376 passed a law prohibiting anyone from questioning a person in a jail or
other detention facility about their immigration status, unless they first
informed the detainee of the purpose of the questioning (adding a new section
to Chapter 211 of Nevada Revised Statutes).

AB 319

HB 319 adds sections to Chapter 622 of the Nevada Revised Statutes that
require licensing agencies to develop and implement a process by which a
person may petition for a preliminary determination whether criminal history
will disqualify them from a license. The agency must respond within 90 days
and may not charge more than $50. If the agency proposes disqualification, it
“may” advise the person what can be done to qualify. The agency “may” post on
its website a list of crimes that would result in a disqualification. HB 319 also
amends Nev. Rev. Stat. § 622.001 to require each licensing agency to submit
quarterly reports to the legislature on the number of petitions received from
people with a criminal record, the number of disqualifications, and the reasons
for each. Under a new section of Chapter 232B, the “Sunset Subcommittee” of
the Legislative Commission is charged with reviewing the reports of each
agency “to determine whether the restrictions on the criminal history of an
applicant for an occupational or professional license are appropriate.” Similar
requirements are specifically imposed on various certifying entities of state
government and the courts through additions to various chapters of the Nevada
statutes, for certifications as varied as court interpreter, firefighter, boiler
inspector, driller, milk tester, and medical marijuana provider.

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

Issue

Bill

Summary

NV

Record Relief

AB 192

The Nevada Second Chance Act establishes procedures for sealing conviction
records for offenses “no longer punishable as a crime” under Nevada law. See
Nev. Rev. Stat. § 179.275. If a court orders sealing of a record pursuant to this
provision, a person’s civil rights will immediately be restored. A person seeking
to have his record sealed must “submit a written request” to the court in which
the person was convicted. The court will notify the prosecutor who obtained
the conviction. If the prosecutor does not object within 10 days of receiving
notification, “the court shall grant the request.” If the prosecutor files an
objection, the court will hold a hearing, and the court “shall” grant the request
unless the prosecutor “establishes, by clear and convincing evidence, that there
is good cause not to grant the request.” Courts or related agencies cannot charge
fees for requests for sealed records under this section. When announcing
signing the bill, Governor Sisolak remarked that AB 192 will remove “barriers
that many Nevadans with a previous marijuana conviction face to obtaining
credit, getting an apartment, or securing reliable employment.”

NV

Record Relief

AB 222

AB 222 expands eligibility for veterans and military service members specialty
court programs and authorizes certain specialty courts to set-aside convictions.

NV

Record Relief

AB 315

AB 315 provides that if a court, law enforcement agency, or prosecutor
“determines that a person was wrongfully arrested, the person may submit
to the court a single page application to expunge all records relating to the
arrest” (adding a new section to Chapter 179 of Nevada Revised Statutes).

NV

Record Relief

SB 173

SB 173 expands the list of eligible offenses for vacatur and sealing relief for
victims of human trafficking. See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 179.247.

NV

Voting Rights

AB 431

AB 431 revises Nevada’s complex system for restoring civil rights so that all
people with felony convictions may now vote except while in prison. See Nev.
Rev. Stat. §§ 176A.850, 213.155, 213.157.

NY

Occupational
Licensing
Record Relief,
Employment,
Immigration
Driver’s
Licenses

S1505
(2020
Budget)

S1505, the 2020 budget, makes a variety of changes to existing law. Among
other things, it eliminates statutory bans on occupational licenses; removes
mandatory six-month suspension of driver licenses for drug offenses; prevents
the release of booking information and mugshots without a law enforcement
purpose; requires removal of inaccurate information from criminal history; and
prevents use of arrest information for civil purposes, such as employment,
housing, and licensing. It excludes "undisposed cases" from criminal history
record searches after five years. It provides for automatic sealing of cases
terminated in favor of the accused and prior to the enactment of that relief in
1992. It prevents employment discrimination against persons whose criminal
charges have been adjourned in contemplation of dismissal. And it Limits
sentences for misdemeanors to 364 days, and makes it retroactive, and
authorizes resentencing in misdemeanor cases that would otherwise result in
severe collateral consequences. For statutory citations, see bill or the New York
profile of the CCRC Restoration of Rights project.

NY

Record Relief

A7584

A7584 clarifies that eligibility for sealing of petty offenses does not depend on
the initial offense charged. See N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 160.55.

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State

Issue

Bill

Summary

NY

Record Relief

S6579

S6579 authorizes automatic vacatur and expungement of convictions for
possession of two ounces or less of marijuana. See N.Y. Penal Law § 221.05.

NY

Record Relief,
Immigration

S6614

Revises procedures for vacatur and sealing of marijuana convictions for
possession of two ounces or less per S6579, and provides a presumption that a
plea to such an offense was not knowing, voluntary, and intelligent for purposes
of avoiding immigration consequences, and that such a verdict would be cruel
and unusual punishment based on those consequences. See N.Y. Penal Law §
221.05.

NY

Record relief,
Immigration

A3675

A3675 prohibits the sharing of DMV information with immigration authorities.

SB 255

SB 255 requires that licensing agency websites list crimes that would be
disqualifying under a general “substantial relationship” standard in Ohio law.
See Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 9.78. In addition, anyone with a conviction may
request at any time that a licensing authority make a preliminary determination
whether their conviction will be disqualifying. A fee of no more than $25 may
be charged. Within thirty days of receiving a request, the licensing authority
must inform the person of its decision. The decision is not binding if the
licensing authority determines that the person’s convictions differ from what
was included in the request. Finally, SB 255 enacts an elaborate legislative
sunset review procedure that will presumably include consideration of how
licensing agencies treat individuals with a criminal record under the applicable
“least restrictive alternative” standard.

HB
1373

HB 1373 is a comprehensive revision of Oklahoma’s occupational licensing
laws, with certain generally applicable provisions contained in a new Section
4000.1 of Title 59, and provisions added into specific licensing schemes. It
provides that a person with a criminal history record may request an initial
determination from the licensing agency of whether his or her criminal history
record would potentially disqualify him or her from obtaining the desired
license, including before obtaining any required education or training for such
occupation. It requires each state entity with oversight authority over a
particular licensed occupation or profession to “list with specificity any criminal
offense that is a disqualifying offense for such occupation.” Any disqualifying
offense must “substantially relate” to the duties and responsibilities of the
occupation and “pose a reasonable threat to public safety.” “Substantially relate”
is defined to mean the nature of the criminal conduct for which the person was
convicted has a direct bearing on the fitness or ability to perform one or more
of the duties or responsibilities necessarily related to the occupation.” “Pose a
reasonable threat” means “the nature of the criminal conduct for which the
person was convicted involved an act or threat of harm against another and has
a bearing on the fitness or ability to serve the public or work with others in the
occupation.” Each entity must respond within 60 days and may charge no more
than $95. In addition, the specific regulatory schemes of dozens of professions
and occupations were amended to strike references to “good moral character”
and “moral turpitude,” and to include the two requirements of disqualification
(“substantial relationship” and “reasonable threat”) in the conjunctive.

OH

OK

Occupational
Licensing

Occupational
Licensing

57

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

Issue

OK

Record Relief,
Executive
Clemency

Bill

Summary

SB 815

SB 815 allows anyone pardoned to seek expungement; and lessens other
expungement eligibility requirements such that a person convicted of not more
than two felony offenses, neither of which is of serious violence or requires
registration as a sex offender, may petition to have the record expunged ten
years after completion of sentence. See 22 Okla. Stat. Ann. § 18.

OK

Record Relief

HB
1269

HB1269 authorizes expungement for persons convicted of a nonviolent felony
offense which was subsequently reclassified as a misdemeanor under
Oklahoma law, 30 days after completion of sentence, if restitution ordered by
the court has been paid in full and any treatment program has been successfully
completed. See 22 Okla. Stat. Ann. § 18(A)(15).

OK

Voting Rights

HB
2253

HB 2253 clarifies that voting rights are lost upon conviction of a felony and are
restored upon completion of sentence. See 26 Okla. Stat. Ann. § 4-101.

OR

Diversion

HB
2462

HB 2462 provides for courts to notify defendants at time of arraignment that
their status as a military service member may make them eligible for treatment
programs, diversion, specialty courts or sentencing mitigation.

HB
3201

HB 3201 removes a guilty plea requirement from the controlled substances
diversion statute, making this benefit available to non-citizens without exposing
them to deportation. The law specifically provides that “[e]ntering into a
probation agreement does not constitute an admission of guilt” and is “not
sufficient to warrant a finding or adjudication of guilt by a court.” See Or. Rev.
Stat. § 475.245. However, the bill added a provision requiring defendants to
agree to pay restitution to victims and court-appointed counsel fees as a
condition of participation, with no provision for waiver.

OR

Diversion,
Immigration

OR

Executive
Clemency,
Record Relief

SB 388

SB 388 requires the governor to inform courts when a pardon is granted so the
court may seal the record. The governor must inform courts of pardons granted
in previous five years to enable them to seal the record, and the bill authorizes
individuals convicted before that time to apply to the court for sealing of the
record. See Or. Rev Stat. § 144.650.

Immigration

HB
2932

HB 2932 prohibits a criminal court from inquiring about a defendant’s
immigration status and requires the court to allow a defendant additional time
to consider a plea after being informed of immigration consequences. See Or.
Rev. Stat. § 135.385.

SB 725

SB 725 loosens standards for care-giving employment, providing that in
conducting fitness determinations pursuant to criminal records checks for
certain employees in agencies providing direct care to vulnerable populations,
state licensing agencies “may not consider” convictions more than 10 years old,
non-conviction records (including diversions), marijuana convictions, DUI more
than five years old. See Or. Rev. Stat. § 181A.195. The new standards do not
apply to certain specified serious offenses, or to positions in residential care
centers, home health aides, childcare centers or workers, or EMTs.

OR

OR

Occupational
Licensing,
Employment

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COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

Issue

Bill

Summary

OR

Record Relief

SB 420

SB 420 authorizes set-aside for qualifying marijuana convictions, as long as the
sentence has been fully served (added to Or. Rev. Stat. § 475B.010 to 475B.545).
A person filing a motion under this section is “not required to pay the filing fee
established under ORS 21.135 or any other fee, or file a set of fingerprints,” and
no background check or identification by the Department of State is required.

OR

Record Relief

SB 975

SB 975 authorizes the reduction of offense classifications for certain marijuana
convictions.

RI

Diversion

SB 962

SB 962 authorizes superior court diversion programs. See R.I. Gen. Laws § 8-239.3.

SC

Diversion

H3601

H3601 authorizes conditional discharge for first offense public disorderly
offenses. See S.C. Code Ann. § 16-17-530.

SD

Executive
Clemency

HB
1005

HB 1005 authorizes a hearing panel of the Board of Pardons to make clemency
recommendations to the governor, rather than the entire Board as under
preexisting law. See S.D. Codified Laws §§ 24-13-4.6, 24-15A-10, 24-15A-11.

Diversion

HB 624
(SB
544)

HB 624 expands provisions governing the circumstances under which a
person’s name must be removed from the sex offender registry, to add
successful completion of judicial diversion for certain offenses. See Tenn. Code
Ann. § 40-39-207.

TN

Diversion

HB
1319
(SB
1325)

HB 1319 makes juveniles eligible for diversion not only after a plea, but also
after an adjudication. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 37-1-107(d).

TN

Record Relief

SB 214
(HB
168)

SB 214 authorizes court clerks to “dispose” of juvenile records 10 years after a
person reaches age 18. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 18-1-202.

TN

Record Relief

SB 577
(HB
193)

SB 577 provides for expungement of a prostitution conviction along with other
non-violent offenses for victims of human trafficking. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 4032-105.

TN

Record Relief

SB 778
(HB
266)

SB 778 requires sentencing judges to notify those convicted of misdemeanors
about eligibility for expungement. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-2-102.

TN

Record Relief,
Diversion

SB 797
(HB
941)

SB 797 repealed a $180 fee for petitioning for an expunction of certain criminal
offenses and a $350 fee for applying for expunction following diversion.

TX

Diversion

HB
2758

HB 2758 expands eligibility for deferred adjudication community supervision
to victims of human trafficking. See Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 42A.054.

TX

Diversion

HB
3529

HB 3529 creates a family violence pretrial diversion pilot program in Bexar
County.

TN

59

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

Issue

Bill

Summary

TX

Employment

HB 918

HB 918 requires the corrections department to provide persons released from
prison with documents to help with employment. Tex. Gov. Code § 501.0155.

HB
1342

HB 1342 deletes a provision in existing law that allowed disqualification based
on a conviction unrelated to the occupation within five years of application, and
otherwise made major modifications to the standards and procedures for
obtaining a license in most occupations (other than the medical field). See Tex.
Occ. Code § 53.022, et seq. The law creates a new “restricted license” aimed at
facilitating licensure in air-conditioning and electrical work for people returning
to the community from prison. See §§ 51.357, 51.358. HB 1342 also tightens
procedures and standards applied by licensing agencies and requires an agency
to explain its reasons for denial in writing. Certain violent and sexual crimes,
and drug felonies are excepted from the requirements of the law.

TX

Occupational
Licensing

TX

Occupational
Licensing

SB 1217 prohibits licensing agencies affected by HB 1342 (see above) from
SB 1217 considering arrests not resulting in conviction or placement on deferred
adjudication community supervision.

TX

Occupational
Licensing

SB 1531 modifies standards that apply to certain specific licenses, primarily by
SB 1531 deleting overbroad categories of disqualification or antiquated references to
moral integrity (podiatrist, midwife, electrician, animal breeder, auctioneer).

TX

Occupational
Licensing

HB
1865

HB 1865 loosens restrictions on licenses for massage therapists.

TX

Occupational
Licensing

HB
1899

HB 1899 loosens restrictions on licenses for health care providers.

TX

Record Relief

HB
1760

HB 1760 directed juvenile courts upon entering a finding that charges are
unfounded, to seal all records immediately and without a hearing. See Tex. Fam.
Code § 58.005.

TX

Record Relief

HB
3582

HB 3582 authorizes deferred adjudication and nondisclosure for certain
intoxication offenses. See Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 17.144(a).

TX

Record Relief

SB 562

SB 562 provides for expunction after successful completion of a mental health
court program. See Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 42.09.

TX

Record Relief

SB 1801 provided for non-disclosure of conviction or deferred adjudication for
SB 1801 certain prostitution, theft, and marijuana offenses for victims of human
trafficking. See Tex. Gov’t Code § 411.0728.

TX

Record Relief,
Employment

HB 714 makes defendant who is a veteran placed on community supervision for
a misdemeanor offense eligible to participate in a veteran’s reemployment
program, and to obtain an order of nondisclosure upon successful completion
of the program. See Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 42A.381.

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HB 714

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State

Issue

U.S.

Employment

UT

Immigration

Sex Offender
Registration

UT

Bill

Summary

S.1790

The Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act of 2019, enacted as part of the National
Defense Authorization Act of 2020 (S.1790), prohibits employers in all three
branches of the federal government, and private-sector federal contractors,
from asking about job applicants’ arrest and conviction record until a
conditional offer of employment has been extended. The Act’s “ban the box”
prohibition on pre-offer inquiries extends to records that have been “sealed or
expunged pursuant to law,” and sealed records of juvenile adjudications. See 5
U.S.C. §§ 9201(4)(B) and (C), 9206. Certain types of employment would be
excepted. It prohibits agency procurement officials from asking persons
seeking federal contracts and grants about their criminal history, until an
“apparent award” has been made. Post-offer, it would appear that nonconviction records could continue to be the subject of inquiry by federal hiring
and contracting authorities, as well as any records that have been sealed or
expunged – but only if they are otherwise available to criminal justice agencies
for background checks. The Act will become effective two years after
enactment, or December 28, 2021.

HB 244

HB 244 reduces the maximum prison term for misdemeanors to “one year with
a credit for one day,” but made no provision for retroactive application. See Utah
Code. Ann § 76-3-204.

HB 298

HB 298 loosens restrictions on persons required to register as sex offenders,
including rescinding a requirement that they renew driver’s licenses annually,
expanding the number of offenses that qualify for removal from the registry
after 5 years, and enacting a new provision authorizing the court to terminate
registration after 10 years (HB298). Utah Code Ann. §§ 53-3-105, 77-41-112.

UT

Occupational
Licensing

HB 90

HB 90 authorizes preliminary determinations as to whether a criminal record
would disqualify individuals from obtaining a license in an occupation or
profession regulated by Title 58 of the Utah code (HB 90). Utah Code Ann. § 581-310. The Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing must make a
written determination, and the decision may include additional steps the
individual could take to qualify for a license.

UT

Record Relief

HB 108

HB 108 authorizes vacatur for juvenile human trafficking victims. See Utah Code
Ann. § 78A-6-1114.

UT

Record Relief

HB 212

HB 212 makes records of a collateral actions (i.e. forfeiture) related to an
expunged criminal record also subject to expungement.

UT

Record Relief

HB 431

HB 431 is a clean slate law that provides for automatic expungement of a variety
of non-conviction, infraction, and misdemeanor criminal records (and deletion
of certain traffic records) when the law takes effect on May 1, 2020, and will
apply retroactively to cases adjudicated prior to its effective date (HB 431). See
Utah Code Ann §§ 77-40-102, et seq.

VA

Driver’s
Licenses

HB
1700

HB 1700 (budget bill) removes automatic suspension of driver’s licenses for
failure to pay fines.

61

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State

Issue

Bill

Summary

VA

Record Relief

HB
2278

HB 2278 Authorizes automatic expungement of absolute pardon (for
innocence). See § 19.2-392.2.

VT

Occupational
Licensing

H104

H104 Authorizes study of licensure to consider unnecessary barriers to
licensure. (Section 7)

H 460

H 460 brings a variety of drug possession offenses and forgery within the
definition of a "qualifying crime" for purposes of sealing or expungement (both
remedies are potentially available), made some DUI offenses eligible after 10
years (sealing only), and youthful burglary after 15 years. Heightened
procedural protections were made applicable to eligible DUI and burglary
offenses. See 13 V.S.A. § 7601. Also enables vacatur and expungement of
offenses committed by victims of human trafficking other than serious violent
offenses. See 13 V.S.A. § 2658.

VT

Record Relief

VT

Record Relief,
Diversion

S 105

S105 enlarges courts’ authority to expunge records of juvenile diversion cases,
by deleting the age limits so that it no longer applies only where the defendant
is under 28 years of age. Courts are authorized to impose a deferred sentence
for a less serious crime even if the prosecutor objects. S 105 Sealing and
expungement for diversion. See 13 V.S.A. § 7601.

WA

Diversion

SB 5380

SB 5380 authorizes state funds for substance use diversion program. See Wash.
Rev. Code § 71.24.580.

WA

Diversion

HB
1767

HB 1767 provides for a law enforcement grant program to expand alternatives
to arrest and jail processes. See Wash. Rev. Code § 36.28A.

WA

Record Relief

HB
1041

HB 1041 substantially expands eligibility for sealing, including consolidating
waiting periods and easing requirements to satisfy financial obligations. Now
the necessary conviction-free period will be coextensive with the otherwise
applicable waiting period, and a person need not have paid all court debt in
order to qualify for relief if five years have elapsed since release from custody
and all non-financial requirements are met. The bill also makes eligible for the
first time certain assault and robbery felonies, as long as they did not involve a
firearm or “sexual motivation” (HB 1041). Wash. Rev. Code §§ 9.94A.640,
9.94A.030, 9.94A.637 and 9.96.060.

WA

Record Relief

HB
5605

HB 5605 provides for expedited procedures for vacatur for marijuana
misdemeanor conviction for conduct committed at age 21 and older, with no
waiting period or other eligibility criteria. See Wash. Rev. Code § 9.96.060(5).

WA

Voting Rights

WV

Diversion

62

SB 5207 requires the corrections department to notify prisoners prior to release
SB 5207 of the process for voting rights restoration and voter registration, and to provide
them with a voter registration form. See Wash Rev. Code ch. 72.09.
SB 40

SB 40 establishes a specialized court program for military service members. See
W. Va. Code §§ 62-16-1, et seq.

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

WV

WV

WY

Issue

Occupational
Licensing

Record Relief

Record Relief,
Diversion

63

Bill

Summary

HB 118

HB 118 is West Virginia’s first law imposing broad procedural and substantive
limits on licensing boards in consideration of criminal records. Boards (with a
few exceptions) may not disqualify based on conviction unless the crime “bears
a rational nexus to the occupation.” See W. Va. Code § 30-1-24(a) (considering
seriousness of crime, passage of time, and rehabilitation). It also provides for a
preliminary determination within 60 days (but no cap on the application fee as
with other similar laws) and discourages the use of the term “moral turpitude.”
It reenacts several specific licensing schemes that prohibit convictions within
the last five years, deleting a requirement that applicants to have “good moral
character.”

SB 152

SB 152 significantly expands the availability of expungement beyond the limited
class of youthful misdemeanants, to cover certain non-violent felonies and
misdemeanors. See W. Va. Code §§ 61-11-26, -26a. Felonies are eligible for
expungement relief for the first time. (A 2017 law is repealed that had
authorized reduction of these felonies to misdemeanors, but withheld
expungement.) Violent and sexual crimes are ineligible. Persons convicted of
eligible misdemeanors may petition for expungement one year after conviction,
or completion of incarceration or supervision if later. The waiting period is two
years for persons convicted of more than one eligible misdemeanor, and five
years for eligible felonies. Persons who have completed substance abuse
treatment or graduated from a state-approved job training program have an
abbreviated waiting period. Employers required by law to conduct a
background check may access expunged convictions.

HB 44

HB 44 provides for improved procedural and substantive rules for
expungement of juvenile records and the records of minor, including
authorizing the prosecutor to seek expungement, eliminating filing fees, and
authorizing expungement for minors admitted to a diversion program or
granted a deferral or whose case results in a non-conviction or nonadjudication. See Wyo. Stat. §§ 7-13-1401, 14-6-241, 14-6-440.

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

 

 

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