Senator Walczyk Reacts To Governor Signing "Clean Slate Act" Into Law

Mark Walczyk

November 16, 2023

Walczyk Candid

Governor Kathy Hochul signed the “Clean Slate Act” into law today, further contradicting her promise to keep New Yorkers safe under her administration. This law will automatically seal criminal records three years after sentencing for a misdemeanor, and eight years after a person is released from prison for a felony conviction. Employers, landlords, and schools will now no longer have the necessary background information to make crucial decisions impacting their business or your community. Senator Walczyk has a long track record of voting against these pro-criminal policies, voting against the Clean Slate Act in the Senate and voting against Albany Democrats “Catch and Release” laws of 2019.


“Just last week, the Governor sent a press release where she said: ‘keeping New Yorkers safe is my administration’s top priority.’ By signing the Clean Slate Act into law, that hollow statement stands as a two-faced lie. Clean Slate allows arsonists to rent property, hate crime racists to apply for jobs in local schools, and convicted murders in your businesses without warning. I believe in forgiveness and second chances but I don't believe in forgetting criminal behavior and putting the rights of convicts ahead of innocent victims. The Governor is railroading the criminal justice system and opening the door to chaos in New York.”


Prior to Clean Slate becoming law, the process to seal records existed through CPL 160.59. This process allowed criminals who have been crime-free for at least ten years and less than two convictions to submit an application to the courts. Once approved, the convictions would be sealed and only seen by qualified agencies and federal, state, and local law enforcement. Clean Slate takes the judicial review out of the equation and in turn provides zero oversight into if a convicted criminal truly does want to change and become an honorable contributor to society. 

Senator Mark Walczyk represents the 49th Senate District, which includes the entire counties of Jefferson, Lewis, Hamilton and Fulton. As well as parts of Oswego, St. Lawrence, and Herkimer counties. Sign up for exclusive updates from the Senator via his weekly newsletter by clicking HERE or by emailing