skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Young people in Georgia on the brink of reshaping political landscape; Garland faces down GOP attacks over Hunter Biden inquiry; rural Iowa declared 'ambulance desert.'

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

McConnell warns government shutdowns are "a loser for Republicans," Schumer takes action to sidestep Sen. Tuberville's opposition to military appointments, and advocates call on Connecticut governor to upgrade election infrastructure.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

MO 'Clean Slate' Bill Would Make 'Expungement' Automatic

play audio
Play

Thursday, March 23, 2023   

A large percentage of Missourians who could to have their criminal records "expunged" have not done so, despite the effects expungement -- referred to as "clean slate" -- can have on earnings and opportunities.

Missouri House Bill 352 would make the expungement process automatic for eligible individuals.

Lindsey Baker, research director for the Missouri Budget Project, stressed expungement already exists, and making it automatic would not change the type of qualified offenses.

"Folks who are eligible, for the most part, are going to be folks with lower-level, nonviolent offenses," Baker pointed out. "Violent crimes, higher level offenses, are not eligible for expungement."

Baker explained once records are expunged, they do not appear on public records but are still available to law enforcement.

Research shows the average annual wage increase for those who have their record expunged is more than $4,000. A Missouri Budget Project report estimates this could lead to an additional $2.9 billion in economic activity for the state.

Opponents believe potential employers and others have the right to know a person's criminal history, and some fear it increases the chance a person will commit another crime. Currently, 10 states have clean-slate laws in place, including Oklahoma, and others have legislation pending.

Baker noted many individuals whose records are not expunged struggle to get hired at all, leading to high rates of unemployment.

"For those who are able to secure employment, often they're prevented from reaching their full earning potential because they may only be able to get hired in those fields with lower wages and lower benefits," Baker emphasized.

The Missouri Budget Project's report showed the percentage Missourians' wages would increase after expungement would vary, with women experiencing the highest increase of roughly 30%, compared with 17% for men. For Black Missourians, the increase would be an estimated 25%, compared with 18% for white Missourians.

Baker added the 2022 changes in the state's marijuana laws contribute to it being the perfect time for enacting Clean Slate.

"What really makes sense about this is that we already are putting together an automatic expungement system for marijuana here in Missouri," Baker remarked. "The courts are already going to have to do this."

In 2021, more than 500,000 Missourians were eligible to have their records expunged, but fewer than 1% of them did so. House Bill 352 was introduced by Rep. Phil Christofanelli, R-St. Peters.

Disclosure: The Missouri Budget Project contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Health Issues, Poverty Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Among 12- to 17-year-olds nationwide, 2.08 million or 8.33% report using drugs in the last month. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

In the wake of the devastating overdose epidemic in North Carolina, the state's Department of Health and Human Services is stepping up to aid …


Social Issues

play sound

In cities across the globe, including the Michigan city of Midland, various organizations are commemorating International Day of Peace today…

Environment

play sound

In rural Alabama, where hurricanes and tornadoes are a constant threat, communities often struggle with damage and limited resources for extended …


Universities across the country are facing declining enrollment and increasing financial challenges. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A group of West Virginia Democratic delegates is calling for a special session to address West Virginia University's budget shortfall. Del. Evan …

Social Issues

play sound

While many Wyomingites of Hispanic descent came from Mexico, there is a lesser-known population from the old Spanish settlements of northern New …

Health and Wellness

play sound

The prevalence of Type 2 diabetes is on the rise in Mississippi. About one in seven Mississippians lives with diabetes. Jernard A. Wells, cookbook …

Social Issues

play sound

This week, feminism passes a milestone of sorts as the iconic publication, Ms. Magazine, looks back on its first fifty years. A new book has just …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021