ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)– The legislative session will be extended by at least one day. The Senate and Assembly are expected to vote on the Clean Slate bill on Friday.
The legislation would seal certain conviction records after a person is released. For misdemeanors, it would be 3 years and for felonies, 8 years. Convictions such as murder and sexual offenses wouldn’t be sealed.
At the Capitol on Thursday, Republican lawmakers and others who are against Clean Slate legislation voiced their concerns.
“People who are hiring workers have a right to know who they are hiring and their background. People that rent apartments or houses have a right to know who they are putting in their house. This law is completely irresponsible,” said Republican Assemblymember, Mike Tannousis.
He said people can already apply for sealing orders in New York State and that this would be an unnecessary law. While the Republicans say they aren’t against giving people second chances, they don’t believe this is the right course of action.
Democrats and advocates however, feel differently.
“Knowing that millions of people for generations have been oppressed, okay, and have been prevented from accessing employment, housing, which is security that families need, right? The little things that we need to get by in life have been stripped away from us,” said Takasha Newton, a Criminal Justice Organizer. “So if someone is convicted of a crime and they do their time for this crime, that they committed, once they served their time, that should be it.”
At a press conference on Wednesday, Governor Hochul said she’d like to have a version of clean slate that truly gives people a second chance.”
“I think that is going to help with recidivism I think it’s important for employers who are facing a severe shortage of workers,” said Hochul. “We also have to be smart about it. Are there opportunities to find out if there’s a record in another state, for example. Has someone else convicted of a crime related to sexual assault or dealing with children? So there are areas we were looking to fine tune.”
If the bill is passed on Friday, it would go into effect a year after it’s signed.