The Connecticut General Assembly is in full swing. One of the bills to keep an eye on is a bill that would limit the use of criminal background checks on prospective state workers.

Specifically, House Bill 5207 would amend Conn. Gen. Stat. 46a-80 by prohibiting an employer from inquiring "about a prospective employee’s past convictions using a consumer report, as defined in section 31-51i, until such prospective employee has been deemed qualified for the position and a conditional offer of employment has been made to the prospective employee."

The bill has been voted favorably out of various committees and now moves to the Office of Legislative Research and Fiscal Analysis for a report. 

Whether this bill will ever get voted on in the House remains to be seen. It is opposed by the Chief State’s Attorney who views it as an unreasonable restriction, particularly where there are matters of "public trust" implicated.  The CHRO is also opposed because "there can be significant costs associated with recruitment and screening of applicants for State agencies where criminal background checks are necessary. Waiting until an offer is made only to find out that the applicant is disqualified because of a criminal record is cruel to the person this bill seeks to protect"