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'Clean slate' bill could give convicts a second chance

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Posted at 1:40 PM, Sep 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-25 13:40:44-04

LANSING, Mich. — A new bill that is being introduced to the House could possibly change the lives of people in Lansing, and throughout Michigan.

House Bills 4980-4985 would ultimately reform the expungement process, which would allow people to move beyond low-level convictions from their past that are holding them back.

These changes include:
· Allowing for automatic expungement of certain convictions if certain conditions were met (meaning the act’s requirements to file a petition would not apply.

· Making most traffic offenses eligible for expungement.

· Allowing a person to petition to set aside one or more marijuana offenses, if the offense would not be considered a crime after the use of recreational marijuana by adults became legal in Michigan.

· Expanding the number of felonies and misdemeanors eligible to be set aside.

· Treating multiple felonies arising from the same time period as one felony, with certain conditions.

· Shortening the amount of time a person has to wait before applying of set convictions aside.

Mayors from 13 major cities representing Detroit, Pontiac, Dearborn, Flint, Saginaw, Bay City, Ann Arbor, Jackson, Lansing, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids and Muskegon.

Mayor Andy Schor spoke on behalf of the Urban Core Mayors in support of the bill.

According to Schor, the issue of expungement was recently raised at the City of Lansing's community conversation about gun violence.

"It was brought up that some of our youth are unable to get jobs due to past misdemeanor convictions," Schor said. "Many people throughout the state, and right here in Lansing, would greatly benefit from the proposed reforms."

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