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December Policy Corner

Towards Employment is following these issues in the statehouse:

a. Fines and fees related to driver’s license reinstatement

Legislative Opportunity: Support HB285 (has passed in the Ohio House) in the Senate to make permanent the Driver’s License Reinstatement Fee Debt Reduction and Amnesty Program as well as expand the number of people who qualify

b. Collateral Sanctions that impede access to certain jobs and occupational licenses

Legislative Opportunity: HB 263, which reduces occupational licensing restrictions for those with criminal records. HB 263 would essentially give licensing boards more authority to consider applicants with records on a case-by-case basis (vs. blanket restrictions).

c. The treatment of addiction-related crimes within our court system

Legislative Opportunity: HB1 (passed in the House) expands the use of treatment rather than conviction for people with drug addictions if addiction is the primary driving factor behind an offense.

d. Impact of drug convictions on employment prospects

Legislative Opportunity: SB 3 would downgrade current lower-level felony drug possession offenses, turning them into unclassified misdemeanors. In order for this bill to support individuals that have already served their time, the bill would need to be amended to include retroactive application.