top of page

February 16, 2024

Committee Passes Bill to Boost Colorado’s Workforce

DENVER, CO - The House Business Affairs & Labor Committee today passed legislation to strengthen our workforce and reduce recidivism by ensuring Coloradans who have served their time can re-enter our workforce, acquire professional credentials, support their families and succeed in their careers. The bill passed unanimously by a vote of 11-0. 

“Colorado’s laws prevent people from qualifying for jobs based on past criminal history, disproportionately impacting Black Coloradans and people of color from succeeding in good-paying careers,” said Rep. Jennifer Bacon, D-Denver. “We can’t expect people to break out of cycles of crime if we don’t address the roadblocks that hinder their ability to successfully reenter society. Our bill creates a process for previously incarcerated Coloradans to qualify for jobs so they have a fair shot of building a life for themselves.”

“Colorado is facing a workforce shortage in crucial sectors like health care and education, and our current laws prevent people with records from building careers in these industries,” said Rep. Shannon Bird, D-Westminster. “This bill will build on our previous legislation by streamlining and strengthening processes for regulators and previously incarcerated applicants so we can fill job vacancies in key areas. With this legislation, we can help reduce recidivism and boost the workforce across the state by making it easier for qualified Coloradans to access these jobs.”

HB24-1004 establishes a uniform process for considering criminal records in occupational registration, certification, and licensure applications. The bill includes a wide range of careers from the construction and banking industries to IT.

The bill prohibits regulators from automatically refusing to grant or renew a license based on an applicant’s criminal record unless the applicant’s conviction is directly related to a specific element that is still relevant at the time of an individual’s application.

If an applicant has a relevant conviction for a crime, the regulator may only consider the applicant’s conviction for a three-year period beginning on the date of conviction or end of incarceration, whichever is later, unless the individual has been subsequently convicted of any other criminal offense during the three-year time frame.  

Reps. Bacon and Bird passed a 2022 law to ensure that when pursuing a credential, applicants were only denied based on their criminal history if that history would hinder their ability to do their job safely and competently.

bottom of page