Tennessee bill would limit licensing denials of ex-offenders

Friday, February 09, 2018, Vol. 42, No. 6

NASHVILLE (AP) — A bill in Tennessee would limit the ability of state licensing boards to deny occupational licenses based on the criminal history of applicants.

Republican Sen. Kerry Roberts of Springfield, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris of Memphis and Republican Rep. Jeremy Faison of Cosby announced the "fresh start" legislation Monday.

The bill would only let boards deny licenses based on past crimes that are directly related to the job someone is seeking, or for certain felonies.

The legislation also would let applicants petition a state licensing board upfront to see if a past crime will disqualify them.

A news release from the lawmakers says Tennessee requires a license for 110 jobs, and almost every licensing board can deny a license due to past criminal records, including misdemeanors.