2019 Bills

HB 90: Occupational Licensure Clarity for Prior Criminals

This bill passed the House unanimously and the Senate 21-1. 

Libertas Institute supports this bill

Staff review of this legislation finds that it is aligned with our principles and merits support.

Living life with a criminal record is no easy task—even if the sentence was completed years ago. It affects a person’s ability to be hired for certain jobs, qualify for a student loan, or gain approval to rent property among other things. Many times, individuals won’t even realize how negatively their criminal history will impact their ability to qualify for different opportunities until it is too late.

When individuals with a criminal conviction apply for a government-issued license for a specific occupation in Utah, their application may be denied. This can be a discouraging setback that prevents many talented people from ever entering their desired field of work. Representative Hutchings is helping this process by sponsoring House Bill 90. This bill would allow these individuals to apply to the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) at any time for a determination of whether their record would disqualify them from obtaining a license or not.

Upon receiving the application, DOPL would have 30 days to issue a response of whether the individual can proceed to obtain state licensing for their desired profession. If the individual’s criminal history disqualifies them, DOPL may provide them with extra steps to help them qualify for licensure.

This bill is one step closer to providing better economic opportunities for those with past criminal convictions.