Pa. bill to seal criminal records advances

State Sen. Scott Wagner (R., York) is a cosponsor of Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate legislation. (MICHAEL PRONZATO / Staff)

A bipartisan measure that provides for automatic sealing of criminal records for minor offenses was voted out of committee in Harrisburg Tuesday, heading to a vote in the state Senate.  The “Clean Slate” legislation — Senate Bill 529, along with its companion, House Bill 1419 — has the potential to be the first of its kind in the nation. Sponsors say that by automatically sealing criminal records for certain offenses, people with criminal pasts will have a better chance of finding work. The records would still be available to law enforcement.

The measure was cosponsored by State Sen. Scott Wagner (R., York), State Sen. Anthony Williams (D., Phila.), and 24 others from both parties. “Someone who has committed a minor offense 20 years ago should not still be judged for that crime today,” Wagner said in a statement.

Gov. Wolf has promised to sign the measure if it reaches him. The House version is still in committee.