Colorado Democrats bring back “ban the box” — and this time it could happen |

Colorado Democrats bring back “ban the box” — and this time it could happen

Anna Staver, The Denver Post

Peter Dybing spent four months sifting through 700 job applications looking for one that didn’t ask the question “Have you ever been convicted of a criminal offense?”

“I wanted to become a firefighter,” he said — but a robbery conviction at 18 made landing that first job an uphill struggle.

Dybing finally found a small, volunteer fire department in New Mexico that asked whether he’d been convicted of a crime in the last seven years. He was hired there and eventually worked his way up to a job as chief officer on a federal disaster response team.

Today, Dybing is an advocate of “ban the box,” a bill that would prohibit employers from asking about past criminal convictions on that initial application. Democrats have tried to pass it before, but it always died in the Republican-controlled Senate. Now, with Democrats holding the majority in both chambers of the statehouse and a more business-friendly version of the bill, this could be the year it happens.

Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver, says she’s confident that her new bill, HB19-1025, is on its way to Gov. Jared Polis’ desk. It passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday on an 8-3 vote.

Read the full story via The Denver Post.

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