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Wisconsin lawmakers resurrect expungement bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A bipartisan group of legislators is resurrecting a bill that would allow more convicts to have their criminal records expunged.

The lawmakers — Sen. Alberta Darling and Rep. David Steffen, both Republicans, and Sen. Kelda Roys and Rep. Evan Goyke, both Democrats — began circulating the bill for co-sponsors on Wednesday. They plan to formally introduce it next month.

Right now judges can order expungement if the conviction is for a Class H felony or below, the crime wasn’t violent, the person committed the crime before age 25 and has no previous felony conviction. Expungement is contingent upon sentence completion and must be ordered during sentencing.

The bill would allow judges to order expungement after sentence completion and remove the age limit.

A nearly identical measure cleared the Assembly last session but went nowhere in the Senate.

This time around the lawmakers are portraying the proposal as a way to help ex-convicts find jobs during the pandemic.

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