Press Release from the Republican Caucus of the Tennessee Senate, Feb. 26, 2014:
Kelsey’s bill to put reformed felons back to work passes Senate Judiciary Committee
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill brought by Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) that will help reformed former felons seek employment and lead lawful lives as productive members of society. Senate Bill 276 will help spur job creation, reduce crime, and protect businesses from needless lawsuits. The bill will allow former criminals to petition courts for a certificate of employment restoration, and it will protect future employers who hire these new job-seekers from claims of negligent hiring.
“People who have paid their debt to society should be given the opportunity to contribute as productive citizens and this bill will provide those opportunities,” said Senator Kelsey. “With this bill, these individuals will now have a meaningful path to obtaining employment and leading a law-abiding life.”
This legislation accomplishes two very important goals toward crime reduction and job creation. First, the bill puts in place a process whereby those members of society who may have made mistakes in the past will now have a second chance at meaningful employment. Second, the bill protects businesses that hire ex-offenders by granting employers immunity against claims of negligent hiring. By providing a means for employment to these individuals, this bill gives the state yet another tool in the fight to reduce criminal recidivism.
“This bill protects the public by requiring a judge to determine that an individual does not pose a risk to public safety before he can receive a certificate of employment restoration,” said Sen. Kelsey. “Additionally, this bill will help prevent future crimes by ensuring these individuals have access to good paying jobs and are not tempted to return to a life of crime.”