The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance has come out in favor of legislation that would make it easier for people with minor criminal convictions to get jobs.
Jim Gerlach, president & CEO of the GRCA has sent a letter to the Berks County state delegation members detailing the chamber’s support for H.B. 1826, Expansion of the Clean Slate Program to include nonviolent, low-level drug-related felonies.
“GRCA members support the bipartisan effort to expand the Clean Slate program through H.R. 1826. The original Clean Slate program has helped over 1.2 million Pennsylvanians move past their mistakes, beat addictions and bring positive change to their lives,” he said in the statement.
“In a time where all employers are desperate for workers and it is estimated that for every one job seeker, there are two open positions, commonsense solutions like this proposal are critical. We applaud the legislative leaders who are introducing practical ways to expand our employee base through these types of reforms,” he said.
“We are pleased to see that this legislation would align Pennsylvania law with best practices and evidence-based policies from other states that have successfully initiated these improvements. H.B. 1826 would expand automated Clean Slate sealing to low-level drug felony after 10 years with a crime-free record. The drug conviction will not be eligible if the punishment imposed was a sentence of imprisonment of three years or more, which excludes trafficking and other serious or violent offenses.”
He noted that September is recognized as National Recovery Month and he felt that the passage of H.B. 1826 would serve as a goal and a reward for citizens who have worked hard to move beyond their addictions.
“This bill would also be a huge help for our business community who continue to search for additional workforce capacity. We support this bipartisan effort and encourage the Berks County state delegation members to vote for this bill,” he said.