Rep Griffin Legislation an important step in licensing reform

first_img03Oct Rep. Griffin: Legislation an important step in licensing reform The Michigan House today overwhelmingly approved a plan sponsored by state Rep. Beth Griffin making it easier for an individual applying for a state occupational license to have his or her application accepted based on a determination of his or her moral character.Griffin’s legislation, House Bill 6111, is part of a bipartisan, five-bill plan to reform the state’s review of occupational licensing.State regulations often refer broadly to “good moral character” as a requirement for holding a license. In practice, this has often led to those on the licensing board to interpret anyone with a criminal record to be ineligible for an occupational license.“Through data, we are seeing many people – despite spending valuable time and money on obtaining an occupational license – be denied a license after review because of a minor criminal conviction on their record,” said Griffin, of Mattawan, who is a member of the House Regulatory Reform committee. “I understand people convicted of major crimes should be barred from a job for the safety of the community, but in regard to more minor crimes, there are people trying to get their lives back on track and are facing obstacles to obtaining steady employment.”A total of 77 million Americans, or one out of every three adults, have a criminal record according to the National Council of State Legislatures – making it difficult, or even impossible to find work that requires an occupational license. In 2014, employment barriers faced by people with felony convictions – including occupational licensing – were associated with a reduction in the overall employment rate amounting to a loss of at least 1.7 million workers from the workforce and a cost of at least $78 billion to the economy nationwide.“Some Michiganders are missing out on the opportunity to work and provide for their families because of past mistakes they have already paid for,” Griffin said. “This legislative package aids workers in search of employment, helps job providers fill open positions and will work to stop the revolving door some people are experiencing when being released from prison.”House Bills 6110-13, along with 6381, now move to the Senate for further consideration. Categories: Griffin Newslast_img

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