New bill would lift restrictions on felons in the workforce

4 months 3 days 6 minutes ago Monday, February 19 2018 Feb 19, 2018 Monday, February 19, 2018 3:16:00 PM CST February 19, 2018 in News
By: Abby Dodge, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY – A House committee approved a bill to allow people with prior convictions to work in places that sell alcohol and lottery tickets.

Steve Smith, CEO of Job Point in Columbia, said the bill would open doors for the people he works with every day.  

“Its one small piece of a very complicated puzzle. It would open more opportunities, so from that standpoint we’re for that,” Smith said. “It certainly won’t solve the issue of hiring felons of all types, but we are seeing much more openness.”

Job point coaches people seeking jobs on what to say in interviews.

“We’re really trying to see that employers will give people a chance to tell their story and go through the process,” Smith said.

Patrick Tuohey of the Show-Me Institute said the bill will give more people a chance to rebuild.

“Certainly for people who are ex-offenders in Missouri it can be very difficult after they have served their term to find gainful employment,” Tuohey said. “Just having a felony conviction alone is difficult.”

Tuohey said there are more than 200 prohibitions in state law for employing someone with a felony background, stopping the employment process before it even begins.

“Some of those may be appropriate, but most of them are not,” Tuohey said. “The purpose I think, of rehabilitation or any criminal justice program should be to make sure people who have served their time are able to reenter society and work and become productive people.”

The bill gives employers in the state more options when hiring.

“In some instances for liquor retailers and lottery retailers that a felony conviction does not mean that they may not work there,” Tuohey said. “It doesn’t require that they be hired and it doesn’t offer incentives to hire them. It simply says an employer may hire them if they wish.”

Tuohey said employers are gaining more freedom, but what they do with it is their choice.

“If you are hiring at a liquor store and you don’t want somebody that has a felony conviction for armed robbery that makes perfect sense and post adoption you would still be able to not hire that person, but the law today says that you may not hire a felon regardless of the circumstance of their conviction,” Tuohey said. 

He said as long as the crime is unrelated, a person with a felony should be given a chance.  

“There are people who are ex-offenders, who have felony convictions whose crime does not have anything to do with alcohol or gambling or lottery tickets and there’s simply not reason to bar them simply because they have a conviction,” Tuohey said.

The bill was voted on last week and will be reported on by the committee chair before being submitted to the senate floor.

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Columbia Water & Light's outage map showed 1,500 customers without power in central and northeastern Columbia Sunday morning.... More >>
1 hour ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 8:53:00 AM CDT June 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU has saved money and reduced emissions through its long-term energy efficiency programs. The university has reduced... More >>
1 hour ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 8:20:00 AM CDT June 24, 2018 in Top Stories
ST. LOUIS - An attorney is suing a nonprofit group connected to former Gov. Eric Greitens for its records. ... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 9:52:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Outside a sprawling mall in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, young single men and women walk... More >>
15 hours ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 6:21:17 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - One softball player is setting her team up for success before she leaves for college. On Saturday,... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 4:54:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The discussion on community policing continues to ripple through Columbia after a citywide meeting Saturday. The City... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 3:31:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police are investigating the shooting death of a man near a house in... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 3:12:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said she was kicked out of a Virginia restaurant by its owner... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 2:47:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — The wife of a former University of Missouri football coach is helping her husband remember the details... More >>
20 hours ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 2:18:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Reaching all generations was the goal of one Columbia woman on Saturday. Cheryl Miller is the president... More >>
21 hours ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 1:03:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - Two teenage boys suffered serious injuries in an ATV accident Friday night, according to the Missouri State... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 9:34:00 AM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A national gathering in St. Louis in September will focus on election security. Missouri... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 7:54:00 AM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
FULTON - The city of Fulton kicked off their annual Street Festival in style Friday with live music, a carnival,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 2:23:00 AM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 30-year-old inmate was charged Friday with capital murder in the shooting deaths of... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 8:41:21 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE - People will see a few more cars drive through town this weekend, as the city celebrates its annual... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 5:41:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE – Police said a technician at a local gas station found an internal skimmer device inside a gas pump... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 4:49:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A Fulton man could face more than 200 years in prison after being found guilty of 12... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 4:01:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The U.S. House passed the 2018 farm bill, formally known as the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 3:49:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 80°
11am 84°
12pm 87°
1pm 88°
2pm 89°