CA lawmakers back legislation to expunge criminal records for those who complete their sentences

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- California lawmakers are pushing new efforts to largely expunge or seal criminal records for those who have completed their sentences - to help people who are trying to re-enter society.

A group of state senators joined justice reform advocates to introduce SB 731 during a Zoom webinar on Wednesday.

Proponents say the groundbreaking piece of legislation would effectively seal old convictions from the past and clear the way for millions of Californians to access jobs, housing, education and more.

"We all know that just because one has been arrested, it doesn't necessarily mean you have committed a crime either. So we should afford individuals an opportunity to change their lives and come back into society and be contributing members which many want to do," said Sen. Steven Bradford, D-Los Angeles.

Proponents say as of 2018, more than 2.5 million working-age Californians were living with a felony record.

For the full text of SB 731, click here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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"There's a misconception about guys like me that I want to break. If I can do it, anyone can."

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