New York State Legislature Passes Clean Slate Act To Aid Individuals With Past Criminal Convictions
The long-stalledClean Slate Act passed in theNew York Senate and Assembly late Friday. The billwillautomatically seal certain criminal records after a waiting period - three years for misdemeanors and eight for felonies.Sex crimes and most Class A felonies, such as murder and sex crimeswill not be eligible for sealing.
The bill awaits Governor Kathy Hochuls signature.
Cannabis Offenses Affected
When cannabis was decriminalized in New Yorkin 2019 andlegalized in 2021, over 300,000convictions for small amounts of marijuana were cleared. Though the vast majority of some 9,000 felony marijuana convictions remain on offenders records long after they have served their sentences.
Clean Slate offers a genuine second chance to individuals who have fully paid their debt to society, enabling them to restart their lives and become positive contributors to their communities. By passing Clean Slate, we affirm our belief in redemption and improve our society by providing formerly incarcerated individuals a better opportunity to enter the workforce and establish stable lives," saidSenate Majority leader AndreaStewart-Cousins,who added thatthe bill isintended toprevent discrimination against formerly incarcerated New Yorkers and provide greater opportunities through increased job security and access to stable housing.