Gov. Whitmer signs 'historic' criminal justice reform bills

gretchen whitmer 08152020
Posted at 12:43 PM, Oct 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-12 14:13:30-04

DETROIT, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a major criminal justice reform bill Monday afternoon.

The bill has been dubbed the “clean slate bill,” which aims to ease the expungement of certain criminal records in the state of Michigan. “This is a historic day in Michigan,” Whitmer said, referring to the bills as “a game changer” that will provide a “clean slate for hundreds of thousands of people.”

The governor stressed that minor offenses, such as those relating to lesser marijuana charges, “created barriers” to finding a job and owning a home. She says the bills were the “result of a strong bi-partisan leadership.”

“Our administration has been committed to enacting these reforms since day one,” says Lt. Gov. Darlin Gilchrist II. He went on to say how the current system disparages people of color and how the new law endeavors to change that. “This is job-creating and job-enabling legislation,” he said.

“Few things compare to the gigantic leap forward we are taking in our state today,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. She cited the historic legislation as an example of what can be accomplished when a bill is backed by bi-partisan support. To those seeking expungement of criminal records, Nessel said, “Please know that you have a friend in me and my department.”

“Today, we are about to become the first state in the country to automatically clean up people’s records,” said State Representative David LaGrand, emphasizing that the new legislation could act as a catalyst that brings similar reform to the rest of the country. LaGrand added that the bill “may ultimately help 30 million people in this country.”