A measure that would seal criminal records for thousands of New Yorkers has the potential to be revived in the coming days after stalling for the last several years in Albany.
The bill, known as the Clean Slate Act, advanced out of a key committee in the state Senate on Tuesday afternoon. It's final fate, however, remains unclear as lawmakers plan to leave Albany by the end of the week for the rest of the year.
“The Clean Slate Act is historic legislation that would end the perpetual punishment of over two million New Yorkers and their families," said the coalition backing the measure. "We thank Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins for including this urgent bill on today’s Rules Committee agenda, which tees up the legislation for passage tomorrow. With momentum in the Senate and overwhelming support across the state, we urge Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to advance the Clean Slate Act now to bring relief to New Yorkers who have been excluded from economic opportunity, stable housing, and higher education for far too long. Clean Slate can’t wait.”
The measure has won support from criminal justice reform organizations as well as businesses across the state. Proponents have argued the measure will help people who have completed their sentences to obtain a job or housing.
The bill, however, has faced headwinds in recent years. Gov. Kathy Hochul earlier this year endorsed a version of the proposal in her State of the State address.