Clean Slate Law
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More fine-tuning may be in the works for a recently enacted state law that is tied to both the criminal justice system and providing more job opportunities. It is probably also going to be more costly for taxpayers and county court systems. Gary Sinderson has the story. Last year, Pennsylvania was among the first states in the nation approving Clean Slate legislation. It seals from public view millions of past criminal records with minor brushes with the law. Now comes Clean Slate 2.0. It is actually known as house bill 440 and could have an impact on even more criminal histories. The passage of Clean Slate sealed 30 million records statewide. Those impacted no longer have a public record of a past nonviolent minor offense standing in the way of new employment or housing. Now state lawmakers want to expunge from public view the criminal files for those found not guilty of accusations or pardoned. That is the basis for house bill 440. Criminal records are maintained and county offices. Clean slate has added new costs. In Centre County alone, it is impacting nearly 500,000 records with staffers putting in extra hours to review files. The new proposal could mean more costs, including redoing some records recently changed for the initial clean slate work. "We are uncertain exactly how we are going to be moving forward with different portions of clean slate, based off of legislation. We are currently waiting to see how everything is going to sort out and it is very possible that we may have to go back through and redo portions of the ceiling, based off of whatever new legislation is presented." Other states are following Pennsylvania's lead and working on their own laws. It is estimated 70 to 100 million americans have some type of criminal record.