An effort to expunge certain offenses from an individual’s criminal record is gaining traction in the legislature. The Senate Committee on Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence recently voted “Do Pass” SB 588, sponsored by Sen. Bob Dixon (R-Springfield). Two other expungement bills,SB 603, sponsored by Sen. Kiki Curls (D-Kansas City) and SB 942, sponsored by Sen. Jamilah Nasheed (D-St. Louis) were combined with SB 588 to make an omnibus bill.
Although each bill reflected some differences, all the bills as combined in the substitue will implement a process whereby certain offenses (including misdemeanors and felonies) can be reviewed by the court, expunged and closed to viewing by the general public. The substitue bill will shorten the waiting period for the offender to seek an expungement and define the number of petitions that can be filed before the court.
At this point a Senate Committee Substitute will be prepared to reflect elements of all the bills and will be put on the Senate Calendar for debate. The MCC supports a meaningful expungement process as it allows ex-offenders to put the past behind them and move forward with a second chance at employment and other opportunities.