House Democrats: You don’t need to know that

You Can't Handle The TruthBy Bob Eschliman


If an applicant for a certain public position has been convicted of a felony in the past, should the officials considering hiring him or her know about the circumstances surrounding that conviction?

A group of House Democrats thinks maybe you shouldn’t. House File 301, offered yesterday by state Rep. Ruth Ann Gaines and co-sponsored by six of her Democrat colleagues, would prohibit public employers from seeking information regarding felony convictions from job applicants, unless required by law.

The bill also provides that where seeking such information is required by a state or federal law, regulation, or policy, a public employer shall not exceed “the specific requirements of the state law or the federal law, regulation, or policy.” The proposed legislation was referred to the House Committee on State Government, which has referred it to a subcommittee.