PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Pittsburgh-area congressman wants to go nationwide with a “Clean Slate” bill, like the one Pennsylvania passed last year.

Rep. Guy Reschenthaler and a Delaware state representative introduced the new legislation in U.S. Congress.

The “Clean Slate Act” would automatically seal a person’s federal criminal record if they’ve been convicted of nonviolent drug crimes.

It’s similar to the bill passed last summer in Pennsylvania, which allows people with nonviolent misdemeanor convictions to seal their records if they stayed out of trouble for 10 years.


Gov. Tom Wolf signed that bill last June.

“It’s going to help all those who have committed low-level offenses who paid their penalty to get back on the path to a blemish-free life. I really want to point out Pennsylvania is the very first state in the union to do this,” Wolf said.

The proposed legislation would also require records to be sealed within 180 days for people acquitted or exonerated, or for those who never had charges filed against them.

According to the Center for American Progress, about nine in 10 employers, four in five landlords and three in five colleges are using background checks.

Supporters say the goal is to help millions of people with old convictions find jobs or get services they need.

The Clean Slate Act would not seal records for sex offenders or those convicted of terrorism, treason or other national security-related offenses.