The Upstate Business Journal had a fantastic profile of our top priority for 2018. As employment markets tightened, Greenville Chamber CEO Carlos Phillips started making the expungement argument as a great way to expand our workforce. It has worked in his home state of Kentucky.
From the story:
For people with criminal records, finding a job can be hard.
Their job applications may go straight to the trash bin if they truthfully answer a question about whether they were ever convicted of a felony.
It usually doesn’t matter if the conviction was a drug charge or other kind of nonviolent crime decades ago when they were young and impressionable. They don’t get the chance to explain.
For years, sympathetic lawmakers and social justice activists have proposed changing South Carolina law to make it easier for people to have certain crimes expunged from their records. But those bills could never overcome the law-and-order argument of the opposition. None passed.
Enter the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, which began lobbying in favor of expanding expungement for the first time this past legislative session. …
Chamber involvement made a “huge difference,” according to Ashley Thomas, an attorney with the S.C. Appleseed Legal Justice Center, a Columbia organization that advocates for low-income residents. …
The chambers succeeded in getting their bill through the House by a vote of 103 to 0.
Read the entire story here. Thank you UBJ!