Measure Puts Children in Peril
Senator Kenneth P. LaValle today called for the repeal of the Drug Dealer Protection Act that Democrats passed in the 2009-10 state budget. “Repealing this measure is a number one priority,” said Senator LaValle. “This measure puts children in harm’s way and, unless it is repealed, convicted felons could be teaching and caring for our children.”
The new Drug Dealer Protection Act, which takes effect June 8, allows the courts to seal a drug felon’s most current conviction, and up to three prior misdemeanors, to keep them from being disclosed during background checks for sensitive employment opportunities. This includes convictions other than drug offenses. If this law is kept on the books, a criminal could have a total of four convictions hidden from potential employers.
“This change in law defies all common sense because it effectively wipes the slate clean for drug dealers and will make criminal background checks on potential employees worthless,” said Senator LaValle. “Basically, a convicted drug dealer with an extensive criminal history could be caring for children at a day care center, teaching at a school, working at a nursing home, or hold some other position of trust.
“The Senate Republican measure would place the public’s right to know before the rights of criminals,” continued Senator LaValle. “I am calling on the Senate, Assembly, and Governor to pass this measure and correct this dangerous provision as soon as possible.”