May 06, 2013

News from Safer Foundation

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 Legislative Alert!
Legislative Update HB 3061 and SB 1659
HB 3061 (Sealing Expansion) originally sponsored in the House by Illinois State Representative LaShawn Ford (D-8) and SB 1659 originally sponsored in the Senate by Senator Patricia Van Pelt, will be heard in Illinois General Assembly committees this week in Springfield Illinois. The HB 3061 Senate sponsor is Senator Kwame Raoul and the hearing is in the Criminal Law Committee on Wednesday May 8, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. The SB 1659 House sponsor is Illinois State representative Arthur Turner and the hearing is in the House Revenue and Finance Committee on Thursday May 9, 2013 at 8:00 a.m. These Committee hearings are the next step for the two bills that upon passage by legislators will bring us one step closer to criminal justice fairness for people with criminal records in the state of Illinois.
We encourage all CARRE members to support this legislation, which will reduce barriers and increase opportunities to employment for people with criminal records in the state of Illinois. We will continue to update you on progress of this extremely important legislation. In the bill descriptions below I have included the link to file witness slips for both bills. Electronic witness slips must be submitted one hour before the scheduled committee hearing time.
HB 3061 (Criminal Records Sealing Expansion)
Allows a person to petition the court to order the sealing of: (1) Class 3 felony conviction records for theft, retail theft, deceptive practices, and forgery; and (2) Class 4 felony conviction records for possession of cannabis, possession of a controlled substance, violation of the Methamphetamine Precursor Control Act, violation of the Steroid Control Act. This is the first expansion since 2005, as only 3 felony convictions have been eligible for relief since that time (Class 4 possession of   cannabis, prostitution and possession of controlled substance).
SB 1659 (Income Tax Ex-Offender)
Provides that the total amount of the credit to an employer for wages paid to may not exceed $1,500 for each qualified ex-offender hired. Provides that an ex offender includes a person who has been convicted of a crime in this State or of an offense in any other jurisdiction, not including any offense or attempted offense that would subject a person to registration under the Sex Offender Registration Act (now, a person who is an eligible offender, as defined under Section 5-5.5-5 of the Unified Code of Corrections). Provides that the taxpayer is entitled to the credit for hiring ex-offenders if the taxpayer hired the ex-offender within 3 years (instead of one year) after the offender was released from an Illinois adult correctional center.
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Public Policy and External Relations Contacts
B. Diane Williams, President / CEO
Veronica Cunningham, Vice President, Public Policy and External Relations
Anthony Lowery, Director, Policy and Advocacy
phone: 312-922-2200
* Many articles refer to people with criminal records as "ex-offenders" or "offenders". While we appreciate all the positive press these issues receive, we are working to use other terms to describe our clients that do not carry such negative connotations. These terms include "people with criminal records" or "people reentering society".
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