Governor Wolf Signs the Clean Slate Bill Into Law
On June 28, 2018, Governor Tom Wolf’s Office announced that he had signed House Bill 1419 also known as the “Clean Slate” bill into law. According to the Governor’s Office, this legislation allows for individuals to petition the courts for their records to be sealed if a person has been free from conviction for 10 years for an offense that resulted in a year or more in prison and has paid all court-ordered financial debts. Additionally, it allows automatic sealing of records for second or third-degree misdemeanor offenses that included a less than two-year prison sentence if a person has been free from convictions for 10 years, as well as sealing of criminal history records related to charges that resulted in non-convictions. The bill was sponsored by Reps. Sheryl Delozier and Jordan Harris. A similar bill was sponsored in the Senate by Senator Anthony Williams. At the signing ceremony, Rep. Delozier stated , “People who have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to minor misdemeanors many years ago deserve a second chance. They have shown that they have reformed their lives, and this barrier to employment and housing needs to be removed.” Under the law, offenses sealed would not need to be reported to employers, landlords, colleges, or others, nor may they be used to deny state occupational licenses.