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Association of Prosecuting Attorneys

Ohio Bill Will Boost Job Hopes of Former Offenders

May 25, 2012
Ohioans with criminal records will find it easier to get jobs, become licensed in construction trades and get a driver's license under legislation passed yesterday by both houses of the General Assembly. Gov. John Kasich will sign the "collateral sanctions" bill when it reaches his desk, spokesman Rob Nichols said. "Relief and redemption are on the way," one ex-offender support group proclaimed after the votes. The new law will affect 1.9 million Ohioans with criminal records. It was a rare thing - liberal black female Democrats from Columbus and Cleveland working with conservative white male Republicans from Springfield and Cincinnati on a bill that one sponsor said "changes lives." "The work that we are doing today opens opportunities," Sen. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, said before the 27-4 vote on Senate Bill 337. The Ohio House later voted 96-1 for House Bill 524, legislation mirroring the Senate bill. One of the bills will go to Kasich when lawmakers return the week of June 11. Lawmakers from both parties worked closely with the Kasich administration to eliminate some of the 600 barriers that prevent people with criminal records from getting an education and a good job, or even a driver's license.