February 5, 2020 6:15pm
GLI testifies in support of key criminal justice reform legislation
Before the House Judiciary Committee this afternoon, GLI testified in support of House Bill 327, sponsored by Representative Kevin Bratcher (R-Louisville). This key workforce development bill will help remove barriers to employment by ensuring that more Kentuckians who are eligible to have past charges expunged from their records are able to do so. Committee members supported House Bill 327, 22-0. The bill now heads to the House floor for a vote by the full body. Learn more about House Bill 327 here.
Read GLI’s full testimony below.
Chairman Petrie, committee members, thank you for this opportunity to testify in support of House Bill 327; and thank you, Representative Bratcher, for your leadership on this very important issue.
Greater Louisville Inc. is an economic development organization and chamber of commerce, representing more than 1,700 businesses throughout the greater Louisville region.
As the first business organization in the Commonwealth to back Class D felony expungement, GLI has long championed expungement as a vital tool in removing barriers to work. House Bill 327 will continue the important work of past legislative sessions by making expungement more accessible and making sure fewer Kentuckians fall through the cracks.
We know from research that expungement leads to increased workforce participation and increases in wages, as individuals with past run-ins with the law are able to find employment or advance in their careers. We also know that too few individuals who are eligible for expungement obtain it.
By making the expungement of acquittals and dismissals with prejudice automatic, this legislation will make sure that more Kentuckians who are eligible for expungement obtain it. This will be a good thing for our workforce and a good thing for our economy.
GLI is proud to support this legislation alongside a strong coalition that includes the Association of Circuit Court Clerks, ACLU, Commerce Lexington, the Kentucky Chamber, and Smart on Crime – which is made up of Kentucky business, economic, faith-based and civil rights organizations.
Thank you for this opportunity to speak in favor of this bill.