Reena Szczepanski at (505) 699-0798 or Julie Roberts at (505) 310-4592
The bill will largely impact those individuals with criminal convictions from their youth who still must check the box despite their qualifications for the job or subsequent rehabilitation. Azul La Luz, a resident of
“I’m a current PhD candidate at the
The legislation does not prevent employers from asking about conviction status during the interview process and does not restrict employers from conducting background checks on applicants.
Committee members spoke in strong favor of the bill during the hearing. Representative Bill O’Neill (
“It’s not just a job – it is the beginning of a new life,” said Representative O’Neill. “I’ve worked with previous offenders and a job is a very important part of successful reintegration into society.”
Harden, the sponsor of the legislation, is the former Secretary of Labor under Governor Gary Johnson and runs several businesses in
“This bill will help people with convictions get their foot in the door during the hiring process,” said Reena Szczepanski, director of Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico. “An applicant may be fully qualified for a position, but when the hiring manager sees they have a conviction, that application may go directly into the garbage.”
“Our support for this bill is grounded in our commitment to restorative justice and removing as many barriers as possible for people who have completed their sentence and our trying to rebuild their lives,” said Holly Beaumont, legislative advocate for the New Mexico Conference of Churches. Other organizations supporting the bill include Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, the Lutheran Advocacy Ministry of New Mexico, the Women’s Justice Project, and the New Mexico Corrections Department’s Office of Reentry and Prison Reform.
The bill is receiving national media coverage and momentum is building in support of the legislation as it heads to the House floor for final passage