D.C. Council chamber
**FILE** The D.C. Council chamber at the John A. Wilson Building in D.C. (Courtesy of dccouncil.us)

The D.C. Council has given a thumbs-up to a bill aimed at lowering barriers for finding work for residents with criminal records.

The Removing Barriers to Occupational Licensing for Returning Citizens Amendment Act, which includes a multitude of safeguards to prevent the denial of job opportunities based on criminal records, will prohibit boards from considering arrests that never resulted in a conviction, as well sealed, expunged, or vacated records, DCist reported.

“An honest living is one of the best ways to prevent re-offending,” said a D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute activism policy manager who testified in favor of the bill, DCist reported. “But strict occupational licensing requirements make it harder for ex-offenders to find work. This bill will eliminate many licensing barriers that have little basis in common sense and unfairly deny countless Americans looking for a fresh start.”

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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