(April 26) – On a 35-29 vote, the Responsible Reentry bill by Rep. Beth McCann to eliminate the criminal history box on initial job applications in order to boost employment and reduce recidivism in Colorado earned final approval from the House this morning.

“This is a bill that will allow those who have a criminal history to at least get their resume reviewed,” said Rep. McCann, D- Denver. “The bill would give folks hope and an opportunity for employment. If you give people some hope and a future to look forward to, they are much less likely to reoffend.”

HB16-1388 prohibits employers in Colorado from asking about arrest or criminal history on initial job applications. It does not preclude employers from asking once candidates reach the interview phase. Research shows that face-to-face interaction with prospective employers is an effective approach to reduce barriers to employment. Any positions that legally require exclusion of people with certain records are exempted from this bill.

With the passage of Responsible Reentry, Colorado would join seven states that have enacted similar legislation.

The bill now proceeds to the Senate.

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