Seattle City Council News And Issues

SHB 1553 Passed

Recently at a committee Council meeting in Seattle, a unanimous vote on SHB 1553 passed, as well as the CROP program which allows employers to have an easier time hiring people with criminal histories, specifically those that require a vocational license. According to the report on the meeting, currently only people without a criminal record can get jobs that require some type of vocational license. For example, someone that would like to get a job as a dental hygienist, or even a barber, would not be able to get this type of job as a result of having a criminal record. This will make it easier for these individuals to apply and potentially receive a job if they have the proper licensing. Additionally, after the governor’s signature had gone through, it became a state wide program that permits an individual to file what is called a civil motion that will clearly show that they have not had any convictions or new arrest since that time, and that they have also met the terms of their sentence. Once this becomes more widespread, people will be able to get jobs that could not before because they had a criminal record. There was another resolution passed that ensures that this will be considered by all employers, something called Resolution 31637.

Resolution 31637 Also Unanimously Approved

One other thing that was able to get passed by the Seattle City Council was this resolution which legally shows the support of the city in regard to the certificate for restoration of opportunity program. In this particular situation, they are requiring the privilege of a prisoner, and also the community corrections departments to work to strengthen CROP. This particular type of work group will identify opportunities that should be made available to these individuals, something that goes far beyond criminal justice agencies. They are also required to develop recommendations that the city can implement to facilitate what is called prisoner reentry. This should remove any possible barriers for these individuals if they need to get housing as well, making this a well-rounded project.

In the event that this continues to move forward, there is the possibility that more jobs will be created for people that are fully capable of doing the work but have had a criminal record. Sometimes these things happen in our lives, and as a result of mistakes that we have made, it can lead to problems getting employment. The passing of SHB 1553 and Resolution 31637 makes it now possible for people in Seattle to have the ability to move forward with their lives if they have been trying their hardest to get previous convictions behind them, and if they have not had any additional convictions since that time.