Augusta Free Press

State Senate passes Ban the Box bill

Today, the Virginia State Senate passed S.B. 252, a landmark piece of legislation carried again this year by Senator Rosalyn Dance (D-Petersburg) which proposes to remove barriers to employment by the state government for those who have made mistakes in the past who have paid their dues and are now trying to reintegrate into society.

The legislation would allow local governments to enact similar policies. The bill passed on a 23-16 vote with all Senate Democrats in support.

Senator Dance said, “This is about second chances. Those who have paid their debts to society should be given the opportunity to be a productive member of society. Every Virginian should have the peace of mind of knowing that their application will not be rejected based off of a past mistake. Not only does this initiative expand access to the workforce, it is proven to reduce recidivism rates. It’s all about giving people a chance that they normally would not have if the box continues to be apart of the application — it’s about getting people back to work.”

Senator Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) said, “This bill is important simply because it gives everyone a fair chance at employment. Those people who have paid their debts to society should be given a second chance. Providing every Virginian the chance to work builds our workforce and puts us on a great path towards economic security. The only way to ensure that we build stronger communities is if we have a strong workforce and banning the box is a step in the right direction of achieving that goal.”