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Governor signs bills improving Job Opportunities for Parolees

LANSING, MI – Gov. Rick Snyder on December 16th, 2014 signed legislation to help better connect parolees with employment prospects, reducing the chance that they will return to prison.Michigan Capitol

“Finding employment is a key to successful re-entry into the community following incarceration. It helps parolees become productive members of society and it saves taxpayers money,” Snyder said.

House Bills 5216-5218, sponsored by state Rep. Klint Kesto, John Walsh and Harvey Santana, respectively, remove barriers to employment for parolees by requiring the Michigan Department of Corrections to provide parolees with “certificates of employability” detailing completed educational programs, conduct history and work record.

The bills also ensure a record of incarceration cannot be used to establish lack of moral character during the job licensing process and protect employers from possible lawsuits based on their decision to hire an ex-offender.

The bills are now Public Acts 359-361 of 2014.

The governor also signed two other bills:

Senate Bill 664, sponsored by state Sen. Mike Kowall, modernizes licensing practices and requirements and defines common phrases across the debt management industry. The bill brings Michigan more in line with current business practices. It is now PA 362.

SB 712, sponsored by state Sen. Howard Walker, enables Michigan and Indiana to continue working together to survey the Michigan-Indiana state line. The original partnership, established in 2010, calls for shared responsibilities and costs between the two states and was scheduled to expire Jan. 1, 2015. The bill extends the partnership to Jan.1, 2018 and is now PA 363.

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