The Clean Slate legislative package has arrived, and now is the time to get on board and show your support and advocate for even broader reforms. The legislation is a set of bills that would, among other things: expand the number of people who are eligible for expungement, automate the expungement process in many of those cases, allow for multiple felony convictions stemming from “one bad night” to be considered as one felony conviction for the purpose of expungement and permit the expungement of traffic offenses for the first time.
Clean Slate legislation is important not only for people who have a criminal record, but for anyone who lives in a Michigan community. Currently, anyone who has a felony or misdemeanor on their record finds that their past continues to follow them throughout their lives, even if it has been decades since they have had any involvement with the justice system. That makes it very difficult for people to find a good-paying job or affordable, safe housing. Some justice-involved people even have difficulty enrolling in a college or job training program.
That’s not just a hardship for the person with a criminal record, but anyone else in their community. All our communities are stronger when everyone in them is able to participate to their fullest. When people are locked out of finding good work or secure housing, this contributes to jobless rates, higher poverty rates and other concerns.
Clean Slate provides economic opportunities while strengthening the places we all call home.
There will be a Legislative Day of Action coinciding with a committee hearing for the six-bill proposal on Tuesday, Sept. 24, starting at 8 a.m. in Lansing. People are asked to gather at the Central United Methodist Church in Lansing, which is located across the street from the state Capitol, before heading to the House Office Building, where the hearing on the bills will be held. The House Office Building is also located across the street from the Capitol.
Safe & Just Michigan is proud to be a co-sponsor of this event, along with JustLeadershipUSA, Nation Outside, the Detroit Justice Center and Michigan Faith in Action. While everyone supporting the legislation is welcome and encouraged to attend, we are encouraging people to RSVP for planning purposes. You can do that by visiting this page.
The bills in the Clean Slate legislative package are:
- House Bill 4980: Creates a mechanism to automatically clear two felonies or up to four misdemeanors from someone’s public criminal record after 10 years, if all of the offenses are non-assaultive. Rep. Eric Leutheuser (R-Hillsdale)
- H.B 4981: Makes most traffic offenses eligible for expungement. Rep. Pauline Wendzel (R-Watervliet)
- H.B. 4982: Creates a process to set aside marijuana sentences for conduct that would have been legal after the 2018 referendum legalizing recreational marijuana. Rep. Luke Meerman (R-Coopersville)
- H.B. 4983: Reduces the misdemeanor waiting period to three years and permits petitions to expunge two felonies to be filed after seven years. Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor)
- H.B. 4894: Expands the amount of offenses eligible to be set aside from the current limit of one felony and two misdemeanors to two felonies or up to four misdemeanors, and more if none of the convictions are assaultive. Rep. David LaGrand (D-Grand Rapids)
- H.B. 4985: Allows multiple convictions for certain offenses that happened during “one bad night” to become eligible for expungement as a single offense. Rep. Sherry Day-Dagnogo (D-Detroit)
To learn more about the Clean Slate legislation and to find tools to help you spread the word about the plan, please visit our special Clean Slate website.