The House and Senate have passed House Bill 404, the Delaware Fair Chance Licensing Act, unanimously. This new law will provide second chances to more people with prior criminal records seeking jobs in licensed career fields.
Sponsored by Rep. Minor-Brown and Sen. Pinkney in May, House Bill 404, the bill would require that various state-run licensing boards use convictions as a disqualifier only if the underlying offense is substantially related to profession or occupation or if issuing a license would create an unreasonable risk to public safety.
The bill also creates a process for people to determine in advance whether their prior criminal history would disqualify them from holding a certain license, requires the licensing agency to provide a written statement to an applicant and permits the applicant to submit material to rebut a disqualification.
HB 404 builds off of previous work by the General Assembly to expand access to adult expungements and modify the impact a criminal history has on an applicant’s eligibility to become a licensed electrician, plumber, HVAC technician, and massage therapist.
|House Bill 404 Sponsors||Yes Votes||No Votes|
|Minor-Brown, Baumbach, Dorsey Walker, Griffith, Lambert, Lynn, Morrison, Osienski||House Passes 41-0. Baumbach Bennett Bentz Bolden Friel Bush Carson Chukwuocha Cooke Dorsey-Walker Griffith Heffernan K.Johnson K.Williams Kowalko Lambert Longhurst Lynn Matthews Minor-Brown Mitchell Morrison Osienski S.Moore Schwartzkopf Wilson-Anton Briggs King Collins D.Short Dukes Gray Hensley M.Smith Morris Postles Ramone Shupe Smyk Spiegelman Vanderwende Yearick|
|Pinkney, Sokola, Townsend||Senate Passes 21-0. Brown Ennis Gay Hansen Lockman Mantzavinos Paradee Pinkney Poore S.McBride Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh Bonini Hocker Lawson Lopez Pettyjohn Richardson Wilson|
|Current Status:||Sent to Governor Carney|
“A professional license is a gateway to a stable livelihood for people from all walks of life, including those who have had contact with the criminal justice system,” Rep. Minor-Brown said. “This legislation ensures that those Delawareans have a fair chance to pursue training and education, gain licensure in their chosen profession, and secure a prosperous future for themselves and their families.”