Governor Shapiro Signs Bill to Expand Clean Slate Initiative in Pennsylvania

Governor Shapiro Hosts Ceremonial Bill SigningCredit: Commonwealth Media Services

HARRISBURG, PA — On Tuesday, Governor Josh Shapiro hosted a ceremonial bill signing to celebrate the expansion of Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate legislation. The event saw the presence of Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis, Majority Appropriations Chairman Jordan Harris, members of the General Assembly, and criminal justice reform advocates.

The newly signed law builds on Act 36 of 2023, which Governor Shapiro signed last year. The expanded Clean Slate initiative establishes a process for the automatic expungement of criminal records for individuals who receive unconditional pardons. This change aims to offer second chances to Pennsylvanians previously hindered by minor convictions from years ago.

“A minor conviction from years ago shouldn’t prevent someone from getting a job or renting an apartment,” said Governor Shapiro. “This Clean Slate legislation removes unnecessary barriers for Pennsylvanians who want to rebuild their lives and contribute to our communities.”

This reform is significant for several reasons. First, it broadens the scope of the Clean Slate initiative by including certain non-violent drug felonies eligible for automatic record sealing after ten years without further convictions. It also reduces the waiting period for sealing summary convictions from ten to five years. These changes will help countless individuals move past their criminal records and reintegrate into society.

The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) have been working diligently to implement these reforms, preparing to expunge relevant records and update the Computerized Criminal History database. PSP will begin processing summary convictions this week, with full implementation expected next year.

This legislation impacts six million criminal records involving summary convictions, marking a significant step towards criminal justice reform in Pennsylvania. By offering a real opportunity for rehabilitation and reintegration, the state aims to foster a more inclusive and fair society.

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