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Pennsylvania Senate Passes 'Clean Slate' Legislation

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) -- The state Senate has sent the House a bill that would allow criminal records for minor offenses to be sealed.

Billed as "clean slate" legislation, the measure builds on a law enacted in 2016 that allowed individuals convicted of low-level, non-violent misdemeanors to petition a court to have the record sealed.

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The bill passed by the Senate Wednesday would go farther, allowing for records to be sealed automatically. In the case of non-violent misdemeanors, sealing would occur if the person remains crime free for ten years. Records in cases with no conviction would be sealed as a matter of course.

Supporters say for those who've paid their debt to society, the changes will eliminate barriers to becoming productive citizens.

The bill now goes to the House for consideration.

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