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January 30, 2020 5:34pm

Key GLI-backed expungement bill filed in the Kentucky House

A top GLI-priority bill that will help remove barriers to workforce participation has been filed in the House of Representatives. House Bill 327, sponsored by Representative Kevin Bratcher (R-Louisville), would allow courts to automatically expunge a charge from an individual’s record that results in an acquittal or dismissal. The bill also outlines processes for dismissing and expunging felony charges held to grand juries. 

Expungement is a proven tool for removing barriers to work and ensuring Kentuckians who have had run-ins with the law are able to participate in the workforce. Academic studies have closely linked expungement to success in finding employment and wage growth. Expungement is one of several policies that GLI champions to address the many workforce challenges faced by Kentucky employers. 

Current Kentucky law provides for cumbersome procedures in order to expunge charges that result in acquittals and dismissals, leading many individuals to forgo the process altogether. Moreover, many individuals are unaware that they might be eligible for expungement or might think that acquittals or dismissals do not appear on their records (they do). 

By automatically expunging acquitted and dismissed charges, this legislation will ensure that more Kentuckians are able to participate in the workforce or advance their careers without charges on their record holding them back. 

GLI has been at the forefront of supporting major changes to expungement law in Kentucky. GLI was the first business organization in the state to support Class D felony expungement and worked to pass House Bill 40 in 2016. In the 2019 session, GLI successfully championed Senate Bill 57 to significantly increase access to Class D felony expungement. House Bill 327 will further serve to improve expungement law in the Commonwealth and help secure Kentucky’s status at the forefront of criminal justice reform.