Legislature Overrides Governor McMaster's Veto on Expungement

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

South Carolina lawmakers returned to Columbia to take up Gubernatorial vetoes, finish the budget, and finish several bills still in conference committees. The house and Senate voted to override Governor McMaster’s veto of the Coalition's top priority: expanding expungement laws for one-time, low-level offenders in order to expand South Carolina’s workforce.

For the past two years we've worked with business organizations across the state on H.3209, including the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce; emphasizing the importance of this legislation in expanding our workforce and filling critical labor shortages for our businesses.

This bill will….

- Allow for expungement of a crime no longer on the books if the person otherwise qualifies for expungement.

- Allow a set of convictions committed at the same time to be bundled and expunged jointly.

- Allow a person to expunge a lower-level drug conviction one time after staying clean for three years.

- Allow a person to expunge a Possession With Intent to Distribute drug conviction one time after staying clean for twenty years.

- Allow those that were not sentenced under the Youthful Offender Act, but would have otherwise qualified, to apply for an expungement.

- Sets up an account at each solicitor’s office to collect private donations to cover up to half of the $250 fee required to process an expungement.

- Protect employers that hire workers with expungements from frivolous lawsuits related to the expungement.

- Protect workers who have received an expungement from being forced to disclose the expungement.

- Require Law Enforcement to keep a permanent, non-public record of all expungements.

This bill will NOT….

- Allow or expand expungements for violent offenses, sex crimes, criminal domestic violence or DUI.

This bill will remove workforce barriers for thousands of individuals across our state, expand labor force participation rates, and improve per-capita income in South Carolina.

SOURCE: Upstate Chamber Coalition