ALBANY, NY (WENY) — Monday, advocates traveled to Albany to rally for a bill called the Clean Slate Act that would allow for automatic sealing of some convictions.
Some advocates said this legislation is a crucial step towards racial justice and would have an impact for children and family members of individuals with a conviction record.
“By passing Clean Slate, we have a chance to make a real difference in the lives of children and families across New York,” said Julia Davis, advocate with the Children’s Defense Fund.
Davis added that permanent criminal records create life-long barriers to employment opportunities. She said it pushes families deeper into poverty.
The Clean Slate Act was included in the Senate’s one-house budget resolution but not in the Assembly’s. Some lawmakers said the one-house budget resolutions are used to negotiate with the governor and consequently sometimes passing legislation on the floor is better.
“What we need to do as a body in the State Assembly is actually to pass clean slate as a bill on the floor, so we can assure that it gets into law,” said Assembly Member Jessica González-Rojas (D-Assembly District 34).
Assembly Member González-Rojas said she is hopeful the Clean Slate Act will pass in the legislature this year. The bill currently sits in committee in both the chambers.