General Assembly Vote Tracker

A Problem with House Bill 7

There have been several bills that are part of the Criminal Justice Reform package that aim to lessen the impact of an individual’s criminal history on that person’s ability to find a job in a licensed and regulated profession after that person has served his time for his crime.

One of those bills is House Bill 7, which addresses the licensed profession of Massage, Bodywork and Physical Therapy. HB7 amends the current requirements that allow the Board of Massage and Bodywork to grant waivers to applicants with past criminal convictions, and changes the language to state that certain crimes over 10 years in the past will not be considered when deciding to grant a waiver.

Here is the problem: given the nature of the profession, which requires sometimes close contact between patient and therapist, there is a concern that the Board cannot consider an applicant’s past convictions for unlawful sexual contact and sexual harassment.

The bill is clear: the Board CANNOT consider a conviction of any kind where more than 10 years has past since the date of the conviction and where there has been no intervening criminal conduct since that 10 year old conviction.

Advocates from the physical therapy and massage field want an amendment to House Bill 7 to provide an exception to that 10 year conviction prohibition for crimes like unlawful sexual contact, third degree and other sexual conduct misdemeanors, for obvious reasons: for such crimes indicate that the potential job applicant does not have that aptitude for a profession that requires intimate contact, maturity and personal respect.

If you agree, please sign your name on this petition. There is a committee hearing on this bill tomorrow, June 12, 2019 at 12:30 pm in Dover at Leg Hall. If you can attend and provide testimony in support, please contact Dustyn Thompson (dthompson3662@gmail.com or 443-566-3347) for more information.

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2 comments on “A Problem with House Bill 7

  1. Point of Order

    The statute already prohibits licensure to anyone that has a felony sexual offense conviction.

    • Delaware Dem

      The language in HB7 appears to supersede that. Hence the problem.

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