Advocates rally in Nassau to push for passage of Clean Slate legislation

The legislation would automatically seal and erase conviction records once a person has served a sentence. This would be for minor offenses.

News 12 Staff

Jun 3, 2021, 8:03 PM

Updated 1,055 days ago

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Advocates rallied Thursday in front of Nassau County Supreme Court, calling for the immediate passage of the Clean Slate legislation.
The legislation would automatically seal and erase conviction records once a person has served a sentence. This would be for minor offenses. The bill also states that for a misdemeanor to be expunged, at least one year has to pass since the imposition of the sentence. It would be at least three years for a felony.
Advocates say this would end the perpetual punishment for many of the 2.3 million New Yorkers who have conviction records, and experience barriers to getting jobs, housing and education.
"I can't tell you how bad I feel when I'm filling out applications, I'm excited and then when I get to that part about that question it's questionable because I know nine times out of 10 I'm not going to get it because of that particular question. Have you ever been convicted of a felony?" says 61-year-old advocate Pamela Neely.
Neely says she is still paying the price for her arrest when she was 17.
Nia Adams, of the Long Island Progressive Coalition, says the Clean Slate bill would better the economy. According to The Center for Economic Policy Research, those with a conviction record lose nearly $500,000 in earnings throughout their lifetime.
Sen. Phil Boyle said in a statement to News12, "This bill is just another example of the far-left Democrats who control Albany focusing more on helping criminals than law-abiding New Yorkers. If this bill became law, the owner of a day care center may not be able to determine whether a job applicant had been convicted of child abuse. Our landlords and business owners must be able to know who is applying to be their tenant or employee."
Advocates are urging for the bill to pass before the session ends on June 10.


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