DeLissio: Criminal-record expungement bill would lift hiring opportunities

HARRISBURG, Oct. 28 – Legislation that would allow Pennsylvanians to expunge second- and third-degree misdemeanors from their criminal records is vital in giving people a better chance for success in the job market, thus helping the economy, said state Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, who voted for the measure.


Language that would allow criminal-record expungement in certain situations passed the House of Representatives on Tuesday as part of an amended Senate bill. The expungement language was a compromise among legislators and inserted into Sen. Stewart Greenleaf’s S.B. 166 in an amendment offered by state Rep. Ron Marsico.


“People make mistakes when they're young, and it often destroys their chance many years later to get a job or start a career,” she said. “Not only does that unnecessarily punish the person, but it diminishes Pennsylvania’s economic output when it keeps otherwise good people from jobs they could perform well in.”


S.B. 166, as amended, would allow a person convicted of a third- or second-degree misdemeanor to request the opportunity to appear before a judge and ask for an order for limited access of their criminal record if at least 10 years have passed since they completed their sentence. Criminal-justice and government agencies would not be subject to the order for limited access, and they would still be able to see a person’s entire criminal record.


All violent offenses punishable by imprisonment of more than two years, and many others of a serious nature, would be prohibited from being subject to an order for limited access under the bill.


The bill now goes back to the Senate for consideration.


“The legislation is truly a win-win for the commonwealth – it puts non-violent ex-offenders on the track for jobs that they need, and it expands the hiring pool of qualified individuals” DeLissio said. “It’s a pleasure as a legislator to have the opportunity to positively affect the lives of motivated and qualified Pennsylvanians, and I’m confident that the Senate will have the wisdom to concur in our amendments.”