LANSING — A bipartisan package of legislation was passed by the Michigan House of Representatives yesterday to give thousands of residents with old, low-level criminal convictions an opportunity for a fresh start by expanding eligibility, shortening the required waiting period and establishing an automatic expungement system for certain offenses. In response, state Reps. Isaac Robinson (D-Detroit) and Jewell Jones (D-Inkster), primary sponsors of House Bill 5120, issued the following statement:

           “In order to allow our returning and rehabilitated neighbors to fully reengage with our communities, we have to remove barriers to housing and employment, especially for those whose convictions stem from decriminalized activity. We have a responsibility to make our communities whole, which is why we are so pleased that this package of bills was passed by the House. It is a first and vital step to removing these barriers to a better life. We will continue working with our colleagues in the Senate to see this important reform go all the way to the governor’s desk.”