Downstate Representative Mike Bost (R-Carbondale) says it's a common-sense way to give some offenders a second chance. He is former Marine. One of his constituents came to him with a problem; he listened.
"He comes back and he's got this hanging over his heard for the rest of his life," Bost said.
Bost's constituent was convicted of breaking and entering. He served some time. When he got out, the man joined the military. He got an honorable discharge. His constituent is having a hard to with trying get a small business loan, because of the felony on his record.
"Kids do stupid things, they do, and that's what this is. It gives them an opportunity to clean that up," Bost said.
Under Bost's proposal, if a felon is admitted to the military after their prison sentence and honorably discharged, they would get the chance to have the criminal record wiped clean.
"It isn't automatic; they have to go before the board to get that expunged."
It isn't for dangerous criminals either.
"Class 3 & 4 felonies not involving a gun, not sexual in nature, non-violent crime," Bost said.
He has voted against a lot of other proposals to allow for expungments. He says his idea would work, because military service would be the ultimate test to see if someone has learned their lesson.
"If you're willing to serve your country and stand in harm's way for your country then I think we out to be able to look at your situation and see if that can be expunged," Bost said.
Bost's bill passed the house with 41-people voting against it. It now moves to the senate.
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