Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: Clean Slate Legislation Would Improve the Lives of Tens of Thousands of Utahns
Press Statement

Washington, D.C. — Today, Clean Slate automated record-clearing legislation was introduced in the Utah Legislature. This bipartisan legislation would streamline the state’s expungement process by enabling individuals to have qualifying minor criminal records automatically cleared if they remain crime-free for a set period of time. Rebecca Vallas, vice president for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement in response:

I couldn’t be happier to see the Utah Legislature take this important step to improve the lives of tens of thousands of Utahns. Even a minor record from long ago can present lifelong barriers to employment, pushing workers to the sidelines for years after they’ve paid their debt to society and making it impossible for people to rebuild their lives.

By making it possible for Utahns with minor records to move on with their lives and rejoin the workforce, Utah’s Clean Slate Act would help the state shrink its poverty rate, grow its economy, and save taxpayer dollars through reduced incarceration costs—all while increasing public safety. The benefits of clean slate are clear and far-reaching, and we encourage the Utah Legislature to quickly pass this commonsense measure.

The introduction of Utah’s clean slate bill comes less than a year after Pennsylvania became the first state in the nation to pass a clean slate law and as momentum for bipartisan clean slate automated record-clearing laws spreads to states across the country. Bipartisan federal clean slate legislation was also introduced in Congress in August 2018.

For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Julia Cusick at [email protected] or 202.495.3682.