On the last day of the 2021 legislative session, a bill that would have limited employers’ and landlords’ access to criminal history information died on the assembly floor. That’s good news because the bill, S.B. 731, had several provisions that would have jeopardized public safety, including hiding particular arrest and conviction information from the public.
Several legislators, including some Democrats, spoke about their concerns with the bill on the Assembly floor. One said that the bill would make it easier for those with criminal records to obtain firearms. Another said that he was concerned about the ability of little leagues to screen for violent and sex offenses of coaches and other volunteers. All of these concerns are justified.
Employers want to ensure safe working environments, including when the worksite is someone’s home, like delivery people. Tenants demand landlords provide safe places to live. In these cases, S.B. 731 would have stood in the way of public safety. CDIA and the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) proposed amendments, some of which were adopted, the bill still put Californians at risk.
While we are pleased that the bill did not pass, it will likely come back. CDIA, with our colleagues at PBSA, will be ready to help again protect Californians by maintaining employer and landlord access to the criminal history information they need to keep workplaces and apartments safe.