Michigan Senate approves criminal record expungement bills

Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 4:17 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - On Wednesday, the State Senate passed a bill to clear a person’s record of certain criminal charges after several years.

The so-called “Clean Slate” bill passed in a 29-to-8 vote. It wipes a person’s record clean seven to ten years after being convicted of certain charges like marijuana misdemeanors.

“If they’re going to pay their dues pay, their time and be rehabilitated for seven to ten years and they’ve not committed a crime or gotten involved in the law whatsoever, I think that should show for itself that they’re honest, sincere and serious about changing their life,” said Priscilla Bordayo with Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice.

It doesn’t apply to offenses that carry a prison sentence of ten years or more, including assault and human trafficking.

In a statement, Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist said the following:

“Everyone deserves a second chance because we’ve all made mistakes in life. With the passage of Clean Slate legislation in the Senate, we are one step closer to automatically clearing the criminal records of tens of thousands of Michiganders. This creates opportunities for people to secure meaningful work, provide for their families, find a home, and build their future. Let’s get this done.”

The group Nation Outside advocated for the legislation. Their director Troy Rienstra provided his support.

“We look forward to the day when our Governor also courageously and forgivingly signs 4980 into law, wiping away the stigma seemingly insurmountable life obstacles and shame that people have endured for so long in Michigan,” said Rienstra.

The bill now goes back to the House for final approval and then to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s desk.

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