Ban the Box passes in Louisville - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Ban the Box passes in Louisville

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Thursday night, the Louisville Metro Council voted unanimously to pass the ordinance that bans the box. Thursday night, the Louisville Metro Council voted unanimously to pass the ordinance that bans the box.
After a discussion that lasted nearly two hours, the vote took place and ended with cheers. After a discussion that lasted nearly two hours, the vote took place and ended with cheers.
The Reverend Larry Sykes The Reverend Larry Sykes

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Should people who have a criminal history have to pay for it for the rest of their lives? That was the argument in the controversial Ban the Box debate, concerning whether or not ex-offenders should be required to mark a box on a job application.

Thursday night, the Louisville Metro Council voted unanimously to pass the ordinance that bans the box.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer had threatened to veto the measure, agreeing with some council Republicans that the move could hurt the city's business with vendors. But he and the council's GOP members eventually got on board with some exemptions.

After a discussion that lasted nearly two hours, the vote took place and ended with cheers.

Earlier in the day The Reverend Larry Sykes was among those rallying before the meeting to ban the box. Sykes, who helps ex-offenders get jobs, said, "We found that over 160,000 individuals alone in Louisville have a criminal record."

Sykes and other community leaders maintained, if you are honest and check a box that you've had a past run in with the law on a work application, there's a good chance you wouldn't ever make it to a job interview.

But, there were plenty of objections to the ordinance, a measure that includes Metro Government and it's vendors. You can ask about criminal history after it's determined the applicant is qualified for the job. Despite talk over the issue for nearly a year, some Republicans argued recent changes lacked time and the information needed for a vote.

They also worried about costs to the city to police the ordinance and make sure that vendor and contractors are actually following the rules. Still in the end, it passed 26-0. The box would still be allowed if the job involves handling money, supervising children or dealing with confidential information.

Mayor Fischer is expected to sign off on the bill.

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