Prtizker signs bill to help convicted criminals seek jobs in health care industry

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WIFR) -- A new law intends to break barriers for Illinois residents arrested or convicted of a crime and help them seek employment in the health care industry.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed Senate Bill 1965 into law on Wednesday. It allows applicants with disqualifying conditions, due to arrests or convictions, to obtain waivers ahead of a potential job offer.

Prior to the new law, only health care providers who extended a conditional offer to an applicant could begin a fingerprint-based background check.

“Over 4 million Illinoisans have an arrest or conviction record – that includes over 40 percent of our working age population,” says Gov. Pritzker. "This legislation will dismantle another part of the wall that blocks people with records from living a dignified life. Today, with this action, we’re showing the world that we are building an Illinois that works for everyone.”

Safer Foundation, an organization associated with the new law, estimates more than 93,000 jobs need to be filled, including 18,000 technicians and 74,000 support staff members.