SB 251
Creates the "Fresh Start Act of 2019"
LR Number:
Last Action:
2/25/2019 - Hearing Conducted S Professional Registration Committee
Journal Page:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2019

Current Bill Summary

SB 251 - This act creates the "Fresh Start Act of 2019".

Beginning January 1, 2020, no person shall be disqualified from pursuing or practicing in any occupation for which a license is required solely or in part because of a prior conviction of a crime, unless the crime is directly related to the duties and responsibilities for the licensed occupation.

Prior to January 1, 2020, each state licensing authority shall revise existing licensing requirements to explicitly list the specific criminal convictions that could disqualify an applicant from receiving a license. Only criminal convictions that are specific and directly related to the duties and responsibilities for the licensed occupation shall be listed. Licensing authorities are prohibited from using vague or generic terms, and from considering arrests without a subsequent conviction. The licensing authority shall use the clear and convincing standard of proof to determine whether an applicant with a criminal conviction will be denied a license, and shall make its determination based on several factors set forth in the act.

If an individual has a valid criminal conviction for a crime that could disqualify the individual from receiving a license, the disqualification shall not last longer than 5 years from the date of conviction, provided the conviction is not for a crime that is violent or sexual in nature, and the individual has not been convicted of any other crime during the 5 year disqualification period.

An individual with a criminal record may petition a licensing authority at any time for a determination of whether they will be disqualified from receiving a license. The licensing authority is required to inform the individual of his or her standing within 30 days of receiving the petition, and may charge a fee, no greater than $25, to recoup the costs.

If a licensing authority denies an individual a license solely or in part because of the individual's prior criminal conviction, the licensing authority shall notify the individual in writing of the reasons for the denial, that the individual has the right to a hearing to challenge the decision, the earliest date the person may reapply for a license, and that evidence of rehabilitation may be considered upon reapplication.

Any written determination by the licensing authority that an applicant's criminal conviction is a specifically listed disqualifying conviction and is directly related to the duties and responsibilities for the licensed occupation shall be documented with written findings for each reason by clear and convincing evidence sufficient for a reviewing court. In any administrative hearing or civil litigation, the licensing authority shall carry the burden of proof on the question of whether the applicant's criminal conviction directly relates to the occupation for which the license was sought.

This act will apply to any profession for which an occupational license is issued in this state, excluding peace officers or other law enforcement personnel, and including any new occupational license created by a state licensing authority after August 28, 2019. Political subdivisions are prohibited from creating any new occupational licenses after August 28, 2019.

This act is similar to HCS/HB 472 (2019), SS/SCS/HCS/HB 564 (2019), HCS/SB 164 (2019), and SB 251 (2019).



No Amendments Found.