Background: Senate Bill 51 would require an occupational licensing board to provide within 30 days of an individual's request, at any time, notice if the individual has a criminal conviction that would disqualify them from obtaining a license from the board. A decision to deny a license for a previous conviction must be supported with “clear and convincing evidence” and the bill provides several factors for consideration, including if the previous offense is relevant to the occupation.
Our Position: We support SB 51. Requirements for occupational and professional licensing have long been restrictive and even outright preventative for people with previous convictions to obtain license for occupations that require them. According to Institute for Justice, one out of every five Americans needs a license to work while one in three American adults has a criminal record. As long as these barriers exist, it makes it harder for Alabamians with previous criminal convictions to get back on their feet and even secure jobs in positions they may have even received training on during their time incarcerated. All people, despite if they have been previously accused or convicted of a crime, should have an equal opportunity to obtain work and build successful lives for themselves.