SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The New Mexico state Senate has approved a bill that would remove criminal history questions from initial job applications in the private sector.
The Senate voted 28-11 to pass the initiative from Democratic Sen. Bill O'Neill of Albuquerque. The bill moves the House.
A similar bill was vetoed in 2017 by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez. The arrival of Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has opened the door to new criminal-justice reform proposals that stress rehabilitation.
Under the new bill, private employers may take prior convictions into consideration after an initial review of the job application and a discussion of employment.
Similar "ban-the-box" regulations that eliminate prior convictions from check lists on job applications have been adopted in at least 11 states that include California, Illinois and Washington.