Bill provides greater job opportunities for non-violent felons

NASHVILLE, TN (WMC) - Felons could soon have some extra help landing employment, thanks to a new bill.

The bill is one step closer to becoming a law and helping non-violent felons get employed and start contributing to society.

HB 128 will allow a non-violent offenders to apply to receive a certificate of employability with less expense and without lengthy red tape.

The certificate gives the person the ability to apply for some occupational licenses. Plus, it gives businesses some protections if they give a job to a prior offender.

The bill sponsors said they have received support from both conservatives and progressive organizations and from both Democrats and Republicans.

It's Representative Dwayne Thompson's (D-Cordova) first bill.

The freshman lawmaker said the bill helps felons become productive citizens.

"Legislation such as this helps non-violent ex-felons to become productive citizens, reduces the chances of recidivism, reduces the high costs of incarceration and makes our communities a little safer from crime," Thompson said.

Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.