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Hillyer Introduces GROW Act

March 26, 2024
Republican Newsroom

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COLUMBUS—State Rep. Brett Hillyer (R-Uhrichsville) and Majority Floor Leader Bill Seitz (R- Cincinnati) yesterday introduced the Getting Rehabilitated Ohioans Working (GROW) Act, legislation to increase workforce participation, reduce revictimization, and to foster an environment that is marked by safer and healthier communities and families. 

Specifically, the GROW Act will enact triggers to be in place, upon successful rehabilitation and a period of crime-free behavior, to have records already eligible for sealing by a Court. Ohio GROW continues to give prosecutors input in record sealing. A sealed record creates employment opportunities for rehabilitated Ohioans and protects employers from being penalized for hiring rehabilitated individuals.

“We have a responsibility to hold Ohioans accountable for their actions, but to also offer them the resources and support for redemption and a second chance at success,” said Hillyer. “The GROW Act offers rehabilitated Ohioans a second chance to flourish right here in Ohio.”  

Conservative Groups offered praise for the introduction of the Ohio Grow Act by Representatives Hillyer and Seitz:

“The Ohio GROW Act is a great chance for legislators in Columbus to continue leading on strong, conservative policies that will get Ohioans back to work,” said David Safavian, CPAC Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “We know that an old criminal record is an anchor around the necks of those who have moved on from a life of crime, denying them (and their families) opportunities for meaningful work, safe housing, and financial security. We also know that if someone has gone five years without re-offending, they are highly unlikely to be involved with crime again.  By cutting through the bureaucratic red tape that prevents many of these individuals from having their record sealed, we can strengthen Ohio’s economy and get over 1 million people on the road to realizing their full potential.”

"The Buckeye Institute has long advocated sensible and smart criminal justice policies in Ohio that balance public safety with offering second chances to those who have paid their debts to society,” said Robert Alt, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Buckeye Institute. “The GROW Act is another critical step forward that makes it easier for rehabilitated Ohioans to reclaim their dignity and--most importantly--get back to work, which is the best inoculation against recidivism. Given Ohio's large number of open jobs, this reform will also help improve Ohio's overall economy too. We are more than happy to support the win-win GROW Act."

“Ohio is brimming with opportunity,” said Daniel Dew, Executive Director of The TAP Foundation. “With the significant investments that large corporations and small businesses alike are making in this state we are positioned to grow exponentially. Unfortunately, we have erected barriers that keep us from having our full workforce on the playing field and we need to address this shortfall as quickly as possible. The Ohio GROW Act removes the penalties that employers currently pay for hiring rehabilitated Ohioans and gets our workforce better positioned to be the powerhouse we have been throughout our history.”

The GROW Act awaits a bill number and House committee assignment.