Senate Passes Bill Giving Ex-Offenders Chance to Obtain Professional License

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

Under current law, a person convicted of a non-violent felony would lose his or her health care license and have no way to earn it back. This would change under legislation advanced out of the Illinois Senate by Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago). “People make mistakes, and I am a believer in giving second chances,” Martinez said. “This measure would create a process that gives health care workers who have lost their license an opportunity to get it reinstated.” Under Martinez’s plan, health care professionals who have had their licenses revoked or denied due to a past felony conviction could petition the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) to restore or issue their license. When deciding if a person should be granted a license, IDFPR must take into account the seriousness of the crime, prior disciplinary actions by state and federal agencies, and the date of the conviction. The department may refuse to issue or restore any license that has been revoked. Additionally, IDFPR would not be able to restore or issue a license to anyone who has committed a sex crime. Anyone who has committed a sex crime or is required to register as a sex offender would be banned for life from receiving a health care license. “This legislation has the necessary safeguards in place to prevent sex offenders from being licensed,” Martinez said. Senate Bill 42 will now go to the governor’s desk for final approval.

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