State Rep. Pauline Wendzel joined her colleagues at Schupan & Sons Recycling in Kalamazoo to unveil a bipartisan criminal justice reform package. The legislation is aimed at making Michigan a national leader in expungement policy. Rep. Wendzel and her colleagues were joined by numerous city, township, and county officials from West Michigan that were in attendance to voice support of the bipartisan bill package aimed at giving more Michiganders a second chance.
“I’m incredibly proud of this bipartisan package of bills,” Wendzel said. “This legislation will not only make Michigan a national leader in terms of expungement policy, but will continue moving our state forward in terms of reforming our criminal justice system.” Wendzel continued, “My part of this package allows for the expungement of certain traffic offenses through a petition system. Currently, this is prohibited under state law.” Wendzel made clear that severe traffic offenses were not eligible for expungement under her bill. “Alcohol related offenses such as DUI’s, OWI’s, and any offense that causes injury or death are not eligible for expungement under my bill.”
Other pieces of the bill package include an “Expansion” bill which is sponsored by Rep. LaGrand; a “Clean Slate” bill which is sponsored by Rep. Leutheuser; a “Marijuana” bill that is sponsored by Rep. Meerman; a “One Bad Night” bill which is sponsored by Rep. Gay Dagnogo; and a “Misdemeanor Timeline” bill which is sponsored by Rep. Rahbi.
“Our bill package will help stop the revolving door of our prisons by allowing more people access to steady, good paying jobs,” Wendzel said. “This legislation will remove barriers to employment and give offenders a fresh start with access to new and better opportunities. Working together, we’re reforming our criminal justice the right way, right here in Michigan.”