Tag: bills

Criminal record expungement bills become law with Whitmer signature

LANSING, MI – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday signed a bill package that provides a framework for thousands of Michigan residents to seal prior criminal records from public view.

The “Clean Slate” legislation is designed to expand expungement options for people who have gone several years without committing another offense, including low-level marijuana offenses. The House bills passed the Michigan Legislature with wide bipartisan support in September.

House Bills 4980-4985 and 5120 all were sponsored by both Republican and Democratic state lawmakers. Whitmer thanked the “bipartisan leaders” who helped make the legislation possible.

“These bipartisan bills are a game changer for people who are seeking opportunities for employment, housing and more, and they will help ensure a clean slate for hundreds of thousands of Michiganders,” she said in a release. “This is also an opportunity to grow our workforce and expand access to job training and education for so many people.”

Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, echoed Whitmer’s sentiment, saying the collaboration on both sides of the aisle will help limit the “cruel cycle of poverty and crime.”

Read more: What pending changes to expungement laws mean for setting aside criminal records in Michigan

Under previous law, Michigan residents with up to two misdemeanors or one felony conviction for certain crimes are eligible to ask a judge to clear their record if they haven’t committed other offenses for five years or more.

The changes made by the newly-approved bills include:

  • The implementation of an automatic process for scrubbing certain misdemeanors after seven years and certain felonies – not including those involving assault – after 10 years.
  • An increase in the number of felonies and misdemeanors eligible to be sealed from a person’s public record, as well as the types of offenses that can be removed.
  • The establishment of a three-to-seven-year waiting period before someone is able to apply for expungement.
  • The added ability to combine multiple felonies or misdemeanor offenses arising from the same transaction as a single felony or misdemeanor conviction, as long as the offenses happened within 24 hours of one another and are not crimes involving assault, possession or use of a dangerous weapon, or an offense that requires more than 10 years in prison.
  • The expansion of expungement eligibility for lesser traffic offenses, not including operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
  • The added ability for a person to request that a judge expunge one or more marijuana offenses if the violation occurred after Michigan legalized recreational use in December 2018.

It’s unclear exactly how many Michigan residents would be impacted by the new legislation, but experts estimate it could be in the hundreds of thousands.

In Detroit alone, Mayor Mike Duggan said the bills would help the city’s economic recovery through a new supply of workers.

“Thousands of Detroiters who want to work and be a part of Detroit’s comeback have been held back for too long because of mistakes they’ve made in their past,” he said. “Thanks to the Governor and our state

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Gov. Murphy Signs 8 NJ Bills Into Law, Big COVID-19 Testing Step

NEW JERSEY – Gov. Phil Murphy has signed eight bills into law, creating a big testing expansion for New Jersey now that cases have been on the rise.

Murphy has signed legislation sponsored by Senators Vin Gopal and Linda Greenstein that authorizes pharmacists to order and administer tests for COVID-19 and COVID-19 antibodies.

The law comes as Murphy also announced that New Jersey will double its testing capacity after the Trump administration promised to supply the Garden State with millions of additional coronavirus tests. Read more: Gov. Murphy: NJ Gets 2.6M More Tests That Could Be ‘Game Changer’

The testing expansion recognizes “the vital importance of rapid, accurate and widely available testing to the ongoing battle to limit the spread of the coronavirus,” lawmakers said.

The testing expansion also comes as New Jersey has had its highest daily case numbers in months. Murphy said expanding the state’s testing capacity has had something to do with it, but some areas of the state also have had outbreaks. Read more: Gov. Murphy: NJ May Stop Reopenings If COVID-19 Cases Keep Rising

The number of cases rose to 209,342 on Tuesday, and 14,360 confirmed deaths have been reported. Gov. Murphy announced 651 new coronavirus cases and nine more deaths. Read more: NJ Coronavirus Updates: Here’s What You Need To Know

Murphy also signed several bills that make his tax hikes in the revised 2020-21 budget officially the law of the land. Read more: 4 New NJ Tax Hikes Take Effect: Millionaires, Gas Tax

Under the testing bill, S-2436, a pharmacist would be required to ensure compliance with all state and federal requirements concerning a positive test for COVID-19.

“New Jersey’s pharmacists serve on the frontlines of every health care challenge facing our state, and they are well-positioned to expand COVID-19 testing capabilities at this critical time,” said Gopal, D-Monmouth. “Pharmacists are uniquely suited to aid in this fight and to help mitigate the spread of disease. They are trusted healthcare professionals who have long established relationships with their patients, with other health care professionals and within their communities.”

Pharmacists would also be required, in the event of a positive test, to advise the patient on next steps, including practicing self-isolation and potentially seeking further treatment.

“Over these months of the coronavirus pandemic, rapid, reliable testing has emerged as a key component in fighting back against COVID-19,” said Greenstein, D-Mercer/Middlesex. “In New Jersey, we are proud to enlist our many skilled, capable and compassionate pharmacists in this fight.”

Also, Murphy signed SJR92, which designates September of each year as “Safe Haven Awareness Month” in New Jersey.

“Safe haven sites are designated in communities across this state so that new moms and dads can surrender their babies safely and anonymously,” said Murphy. “I am proud to sign this legislation to bring awareness to the Safe Haven Act and thank my legislative partners and the Department of Children and Families for their work on this critical issue.”

For more information about Safe Haven, go

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