Great news before the end of the year: Pennsylvania’s latest piece of Clean Slate legislation was passed by the Senate and signed into law by the Governor Thursday.

The legislation is another win for Pennsylvania legislators who pioneered Clean Slate. Records for lower-level drug and property crime felonies can be sealed after a long, 10-year period in which an offender has not committed either a felony or misdemeanor.

Only people who have proven they can rebuild their lives, stay on the straight-and-narrow, and contribute to society will have their records sealed. Sealed records are still available for courts to consider in the rare case someone reoffends. Justice Department figures show that re- arrest for former nonviolent offenders is rare five or more years after release.

Clean Slate is supported by many conservative groups because it offers the opportunity to earn a second chance, nothing is given away.

Sealing records helps people find housing and advance at work. A study from University of Michigan law school researchers found people’s wages went up by 20% on average one year after expunging their record. This is a win for them, the economy, and taxpayers.

It is in the best interest of taxpayers, public safety, and the local community that people who are working to stay on track can grow, prosper, and contribute. A good job helps reduce the risk of recidivism. We want more taxpayers, more jobs, and less crime.

According to the Independent Fiscal Office, Pennsylvania has lost workers in hospitality, nursing care, manufacturing and more since 2019. And there is “unusually high demand for 105,000 additional workers.” With the state experiencing this workforce crunch, Clean Slate is a big win as workers who are already living in the community and following the law will have more opportunities to take these jobs.