“I can do a lot more things than I could do before” People react to passage of Michigan’s expungement bills

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Today Michigan joined states such as Utah, California, Pennsylvania and New Jersey in passing legislation that will make it possible to clear low-level crimes from a person’s public record.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the seven bill package and said it’s a game changer for Michiganders.

“For too long criminal charges have created barriers to employment barriers to housing and other for hundred of thousands of Michiganders,” Whitmer said.

The passage of the bills also sets a 2-year timeline to create a system that automatically starts the process for certain offenses, without the need for an application or hearing.

For Tamika Mallory the passage of the bills is persona.

“I’m very grateful,” Mallory said. “I can do a lot more things than I could do before.”

Crime victim advocate and supporter of the Clean Slate Bill, Priscilla Bordayo, says this will be monumental for thousands of Michiganders.

“I know it’s going to change the lives of hundreds and thousands of Michiganders for the better,” Bordayo said. “And it’s going to make our communities safer and there is nothing I want more, being a victim of a crime, then to see people rehabilitate themselves and contribute to society in a positive way.”

Watch her interview with 6 News below:

Right now, someone with a felony can apply to get their criminal record cleared five years after a conviction, but many complain that the process is extensive, expensive and exclusive.

The clean slate bill would wipe a criminal record clean automatically in a decade or less if they stay out of legal trouble.

But even with the changes, Anthony Boyd says he doesn’t qualify.

“I think that this bill could definitely be expanded upon to possibly one day include people like myself who have multiple felonies on our record,” Boyd said.

Boyd has been out of prison for 2 year, after serving 23 years for second degree murder and drug charge.

Today he works as an advocate for justice reform with Michigan Liberation and helps previously incarcerated people navigate the system.

“Even though this is a monumental accomplishment I would like to see this go further though,” Boyd said.

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