Florida – In Florida, a new bill that just got approved by a committee could make it easier for people who have been in jail to get work licenses, permits, and other job-related certifications.
Republican Senator Alexis Calatayud introduced Senate Bill 1012. This bill aims to help people who have been to jail get the necessary licenses, permits, or certifications they need for work. When Senator Calatayud first talked about the bill to the Senate Committee on Regulated Industries, she explained that it’s meant to stop agencies from automatically saying no to people just because they have a criminal record.
Chance for a new beginnings for Floridians
Senator Calatayud said that this bill is all about giving these individuals a chance to start over and rejoin their families as they should.
The bill outlines specific things that agencies need to look at before they decide to give someone a license, permit, or certification. One key factor they need to consider is whether the person is a big risk to public safety.
An agency can only say no to an application if the person applying has a past conviction for a very serious crime, like a violent felony, cheated in a financial duty, or was involved in fraud. Also, the crime must have happened less than three years before they applied, whether they were in jail or not, and it has to be directly related to the job they want the license or permit for.
If someone gets turned down for a license, permit, or certification, this bill lets them ask the state agency to confirm that their past conviction was the reason. Then, they can try to argue against this decision.
Also, if an agency plans to reject someone because of their past conviction, they must tell the person and give them advice on what they can do to fix the issue that’s stopping them from getting approved.
Senator Alexis Calatayud and the Senate Bill 1012 already received support
Senator Rosalind Osgood from the Democratic Party in Tamarac supports this bill. She complimented Senator Calatayud for bringing in these changes, saying they open up more chances for people to start businesses and build wealth over generations.
“This bill is gonna give opportunities to a lot of individuals who are struggling right now to build economic wealth through being barbers and working in cosmetology,” Osgood said. “I’m very happy to see this opportunity for ex-offenders and this means of retribution and reconciliation that will empower these individuals to be able to legally gain income to support their families.”