On Monday, February 17, 2020, the Idaho Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved a proposed Ban the Box bill, known as the Idaho Fair Chance Employment Act. The bill maintains widespread community support and is now a step closer to becoming law. Introduced by state senator Cherie Buckner-Webb, Idaho’s Ban the Box law will provide a fair chance to applicants by prohibiting employers from inquiring into criminal history on applications.
At the committee hearing, seventeen people spoke in favor of the bill. Only one person spoke against it.
“One out of every five people in Idaho has a former criminal conviction,” said Buckner-Webb, “Access to the workplace is key. This is where the fair chance employment legislation comes in. It removes the initial barriers that people with criminal convictions often face when trying to get a job: The question, are you a felon?”