Occupational-Licensing Reform Awaiting Signature from the Governor

Two new bills, which will make it easier for individuals with a criminal record to obtain employment, are now awaiting the signature of Governor Rauner. Under HB 5793, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation would be prohibited from barring criminals from working in certain fields, such as barbering, roofing and cosmetology, unless their crimes directly relate to the occupation for which they are trying to obtain a license. Simply put, it will be much easier for individuals with a criminal record to obtain occupational licenses. This is especially important since approximately 25% of Illinois residents need an occupational license to perform in their trade. The second bill will help individuals with criminal records obtain a license to work in healthcare.

Under current law, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation can deny occupational licenses to individuals with criminal records. Illinois provides for more than 100 licenses which may or must be denied because of a felony arrest, or sometimes even a misdemeanor.

New Bills Will Make It Easier For Felons to Find Work, www.wbez.org, June 1, 2016

General Assembly Passes Occupational License Reform, www.illinoispolicy.org, June 1, 2016

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