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New Mexico may ban conviction question on job applications

February 22, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico state Senate has approved a bill that would remove criminal history questions from initial job applications in the private sector.

The Senate voted 28-11 to pass the initiative from Democratic Sen. Bill O’Neill of Albuquerque. The bill moves the House.

A similar bill was vetoed in 2017 by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez. The arrival of Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has opened the door to new criminal-justice reform proposals that stress rehabilitation.

Under the new bill, private employers may take prior convictions into consideration after an initial review of the job application and a discussion of employment.

Similar “ban-the-box” regulations that eliminate prior convictions from check lists on job applications have been adopted in at least 11 states that include California, Illinois and Washington.

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