Bipartisan federal clean slate legislation was introduced in Congress in August 2018, bringing together such unlikely bedfellows as the Congressional Black Caucus and the Freedom Caucus. CAP applauds the introduction of this important legislation as an important federal counterpart to advance clean slate legislation in the states—and as a counterpart to marijuana decriminalization efforts, as the bipartisan bill will automatically seals all federal criminal records for marijuana charges or other minor drug-related offenses. The federal Clean Slate Act represents an important step toward reversing the damage done by U.S. drug enforcement policies over the past several decades.
FreedomWorks commends the passage of Pennsylvania’s clean slate law, the first of its kind in the nation. The landmark legislation is an example of the bipartisan momentum for criminal justice reform and the shared commitment across party lines to promoting second chances for people with criminal records. Pennsylvania’s clean slate law should serve as a model for other states seeking to enact commonsense policies that promote public safety, conserve taxpayer dollars, reduce bureaucratic red tape, and improve outcomes for people with criminal records.
In June 2018, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed the groundbreaking Clean Slate Act into law. The Clean Slate Act, which empowers the state to automatically seal certain criminal records for people who stay crime-free, earned overwhelming support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and a diverse coalition of stakeholders, many of whom agree on nothing else.
Gov. Tom Wolf has now signed the Clean Slate Act, which passed both chambers of the Pennsylvania Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support. The Clean Slate Act provides a major step forward for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians with criminal records who have paid their debt to society. This law will not only help individuals with records and their families, but will also strengthen the economy, reduce recidivism, boost public safety, and save taxpayer dollars.
CAP’s Neera Tanden, Gov. Tom Wolf (D-PA), and Co-Founder of the Players Coalition Malcolm Jenkins on Enactment of Pennsylvania’s Bipartisan Clean Slate Legislation
Pennsylvania has become the first state in the nation to pass clean slate legislation, offering thousands of people who have paid their debt to society a real second chance. The legislation will provide for automatic sealing of certain criminal records for individuals who remain crime-free for a set period of time. Hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians will now get the second chance they’ve earned.
The Pennsylvania state Senate unanimously passed the Clean Slate Act, and the bill is now headed to the desk of Gov. Tom Wolf. The Clean Slate Act, also known as H.B. 1419, automatically seals the criminal records for minor, nonviolent offenders, removing a large, expensive administrative burden and opening the doors to opportunity for thousands of Pennsylvanians who have paid their debt to society. Once Gov. Wolf signs the bill into law, Pennsylvania will become the first state pass clean slate legislation.