Bill Aims to Make it Easier for Felons in Kentucky to Get Jobs

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – People convicted of crimes could no longer be automatically denied an occupational license issued by the state under sweeping reforms proposed by Republican leaders.

Senate Bill 120 says a hiring or licensing authority cannot disqualify a person solely because of a criminal conviction, unless the board makes a connection between the conviction and the license being sought. The bill would also give the person the right to a formal hearing and the ability to appeal the decision to the circuit court.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and Republican Sen. Whitney Westerfield announced the legislation during a news conference on Tuesday. The bill is part of an ongoing effort to reform the state’s criminal justice system, including a law that went into effect last year allowing people convicted of certain nonviolent felonies to expunge their records.