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 Rep. Tenisha Yancey (D-Harper Woods), issued the following statement:

“Despite overcoming obstacles and becoming a licensed attorney, I continued to be met with significant opposition throughout my career. I had to be tenacious to overcome so many obstacles for so long, even after I took responsibility for my poor choices and decisions made at 17 and 18 years old. However, for far too many in our communities, criminal records are still haunting them; preventing them from leaving their pasts in the past. And to those who have faced similar obstacles, you must know: you are so much greater than your worst mistake. That’s why I am so proud to stand with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in our fight to ensure all Michiganders are able to have the same opportunities and support that I was blessed enough to have. I am looking forward to the Senate’s consideration of this important reform for the people of our state.”