The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has adopted a policy that would help address Kentucky’s qualified workforce shortage by supporting legislation to provide work opportunities for individuals who are currently limited by a single past mistake.
Expungement legislation would allow individuals charged with a single, non-violent Class D (lowest level) Felony to have their record expunged after time is served and a waiting period has passed. Passage of such a bill would responsibly reduce some obstacles that currently limit businesses’ access to over 94,000 Kentuckians who could be eligible for expungement.
“Expungement of felony convictions, once certain conditions are met, enables former offenders to be more productive citizens, pay taxes and meet family obligations,” Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Dave Adkisson said.
The Chamber supports this limited expungement which includes safeguards to ensure employers are protected by a significant waiting period to ensure the individual has no further criminal activity and has paid or served their debt fully. Additionally, the legislation should require notification to any identified victims, and indemnification language that protects employers from legal exposure.
This legislation has been filed many times in previous years. In 2015, House Bill 40 sponsored by Rep. Daryl Owens (D) and Rep. David Floyd (R) passed the House 84-14 but never received a hearing in the Senate.