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House Public Safety Committee discusses Rep. Long’s bill to provide Minnesotans with a fresh start

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Committee held a public hearing on the Clean Slate Act, legislation that would remove unnecessary barriers to opportunity and provide thousands of Minnesotans with a second chance. The bill, authored by Rep. Jamie Long (DFL – Minneapolis), automatically expunges low-level criminal offenses from the records of people who have served their time and remained crime-free.  

“Minnesotans who have served their time deserve a fair shot at a better future,” said Rep. Long. “One in three Americans has a criminal record of some kind. It should not be a lifelong barrier to employment, education, and housing for individuals and their families. The Clean Slate Act will clear old, low-level offenses and provide thousands of Minnesotans with a fresh start.”  

The Minnesota County Attorneys Association, the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Prosperity, and the Legal Rights Center joined Rep. Long at the hearing in support of the bill.  

The bill automatically expunges certain petty misdemeanors, misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors, and a limited number of felonies from the records of individuals who meet sentencing conditions and satisfy the required crime-free waiting period. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will identify eligible Minnesotans and inform relevant agencies that their criminal records should be sealed. The bill applies to adult criminal records and juvenile dispositions. 

Clean Slate policies have passed with bipartisan support in several states, including Pennsylvania, Utah, and Michigan.  

Video of the hearing will be available on House Public Information Services’ YouTube channel. More information, including documents from the hearing, is available on the committee’s webpage.