Pennsylvania House votes to expand types of criminal records that can be sealed from public

A measure that would expand the kind of criminal records that can be sealed from public view easily passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives with bipartisan support on Monday.

The legislation cleared the House on a 189-14 vote, and goes to the Senate.

It would expand the state’s existing Clean Slate law to make non-violent drug felonies with a maximum sentence of 2 1/2 years eligible for automated sealing.

The measure also would allow for those with a criminal history to petition to seal other nonviolent felonies if they are conviction-free for 10 years. It would also reduce the waiting period for automated sealing of misdemeanors to seven years, rather than 10 years.

Sponsors for the legislation said the current law has sealed 40 million cases involving 1.2 million Pennsylvanians.

"The bipartisan passage of Clean Slate 3.0 shows that Pennsylvania continues to believe in second chances and expand the folks who can access them," sponsor Rep. Jordan Harris, a Democrat from Philadelphia, said in a prepared statement.