Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation Thursday that will remove barriers to employment for people with certain felony convictions. The bill will allow individuals convicted of certain felonies access to positions in the health care field.
“There are too many people who have served their time and turned their lives around only to be punished by hurdles that prevent them from finding a good paying job,” the governor said in a statement. “Finding and keeping a job is the best antidote to going back to prison, and this new law will make it easier to do just that.”
The new law applies to a “health care worker who has been convicted of a forcible felony–other than a felony requiring registration under the Sex Offender Registration Act or involuntary sexual servitude of a minor–and whose license was revoked or denied,” according to the governor’s office.
Those individuals can now petition the state to have their licenses restored if it has been at least five years since their conviction or three years after their release from confinement, whichever is later.
The Illinois Corrections Department’s Acting Director John Baldwin applauded the measure.
“The bill will allow offenders who have completed their sentence and clearly demonstrated their commitment to making a positive contribution to Illinois to work in an area of study that they are trained and licensed in,” he said. “This legislation will bring Illinois in line with most states on the issue of rehabilitation and recidivism.”