LANSING, Mich., March 17, 2022 — Yesterday, state Rep. David LaGrand (D-Grand Rapids), state Rep. Bill Sowerby (D-Clinton Township) and a group of legislators unveiled a nine-bill, bipartisan package to expand Michigan’s new expungement laws. The bills fix gaps in the previous law and build on the work done last session to expand the number of convictions eligible for expungement and make the process easier.
“As with any major legislative overhaul, there are issues and oversights that only appear once everything is implemented,” LaGrand said. “Packages like these are necessary for the continued success of the legislation, for which we were once again able to secure bipartisan support. I think we all agree that a mistake or two shouldn’t follow you for the rest of your life. That’s unjust, unfair and counterproductive to rehabilitation and reentry.”
“Michiganders deserve second chances,” Sowerby said. “I am proud to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on these common-sense fixes. Too many people have lost out on employment, career advancement, housing and other opportunities that lead to success because of issues in their past. If we do not take action, too many people will face a more difficult future.”
“I am proud to introduce legislation that ensures defendants in Michigan are made aware of the options that may be available to them for having their records expunged at the time of sentencing,” said state Rep. Steve Johnson (R-Wayland). “This is a crucial component of protecting the rights of defendants and of maintaining equal justice under the law.”
“This legislation will prevent housing discrimination against Michiganders who have already paid their debt to society,” said state Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor). “As more and more people gain a clean slate, it is important that we break down all barriers in the way of them reaching their full potential.”
“Now more than ever, it’s critical we get workers back in the workforce,” said state Rep. Tommy Brann (R-Wyoming).
“Having witnessed the expungement process firsthand, I can attest that this comprehensive legislation will help improve the lives of many more Michiganders while addressing areas in need of enhancement,” said state Rep. Kyra Bolden (D-Southfield). “This package of bills broadens access and provides essential relief through opportunities for better employment and a fresh start.”
“Everyone deserves a fair shot at a second chance. Cleaning up the expungement reform to give people real opportunity at that second chance is a move towards greater justice,” said state Rep. Abraham Aiyash (D-Detroit).
“Expungement offers people a fresh start. My bill ensures that people get notified so they can take advantage of this,” said state Rep. Ryan Berman (R-Oakland).
The bills in the package are:
- HB 5912, sponsored by state Rep. David LaGrand (D-Grand Rapids): Clarifies that the time period required to have elapsed to be eligible for expungement starts from the date of the individual’s most recent conviction.
- HBs 5913, 5917 and 5919, sponsored by state Rep. Julie Calley (R-Portland), state Rep. Bill Sowerby (D-Clinton Township) and state Rep. Kyra Bolden (D-Southfield): Prohibits the publishing of arrest records in ICHAT, a public tool for name-based Michigan criminal history background checks.
- HB 5914, sponsored by state Rep. Tommy Brann (R-Wyoming): Prohibits employers from asking about the expungement status of applicants.
- HB 5915, sponsored by state Rep. Steve Johnson (R-Wayland): Requires that defendants be notified of expungement options at sentencing.
- HB 5916, sponsored by state Rep. Ryan Berman (R-Commerce Township): Requires that those eligible for automatic expungement be notified when their record is expunged.
- HB 5918, sponsored by state Rep. Abraham Aiyash (D-Detroit): Requires that employers and background check companies use current information (within the last 30 days) to conduct checks.
- HB 5920, sponsored by state Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor): Prohibits landlords from asking about the expungement status of applicants.