Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) announced today that he will cosponsor legislation to fix a dangerous problem created by the so-called Rockefeller drug law reforms enacted as part of the 2009-10 state budget.
Under the budget measure which takes effect on June 8th, courts may seal the criminal records of certain drug felons when they complete drug court, so there will be no record of their conviction when they apply for employment. This means convicted drug dealers with extensive criminal histories could be taking care of children at a day care center or as a nanny, teaching at a school, or working at a nursing home or some other position of trust. If this law is left on the books, a criminal could have a total of four convictions hidden from potential employers.
“The Drug Dealer Protection Act that Democrats put in the state budget, defies all common sense,” said Senator Larkin, “These changes will put our children, the elderly and other vulnerable New Yorkers at great risk.”
The state has consistently enacted laws requiring criminal background checks to protect the safety of the public by ensuring that people hired to work in certain jobs have no record of criminal convictions and are worthy of people’s trust. Senator Larkin said the new record sealing provision undermines these laws.
“The public’s right to know and right to be protected must come before the rights of criminals,” said Larkin, “I am calling on the Senate and Assembly to pass legislation which I am cosponsoring that will repeal this dangerous provision as soon as possible.”