New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) on Thursday signed a bill that allows the sealing of eligible misdemeanor convictions after three years and certain felony convictions after eight years, following their release from incarceration.
During a signing ceremony for the Clean Slate Act, Hochul said the new law “will help New Yorkers access jobs and housing while allowing police, prosecutors and school officials to protect their communities.”
“The best crime-fighting tool is a good-paying job. That’s why I support giving New Yorkers a clean slate after they’ve paid their debt to society and gone years without an additional offense. … And as our state faces a worker shortage, with more than 450,000 job openings right now, this new law will help businesses find more workers who will help them grow, expand and thrive.” — Hochul via ABC 7 NY
The move was lauded by law enforcement officials, business and labor leaders, state and local lawmakers, and civil rights advocates.
In a statement, Rev. Al Sharpton, founder of the National Action Network, called the bill’s final approval by the governor “a momentous day for the state of New York.”