Md. House changes criminal records shield bill

ANNAPOLIS — A Maryland bill that would have closed some nonviolent criminal records from public view has been reduced in scope.

The House Judiciary Committee voted Monday to change the bill so that records would only be removed from a state website that shows case records. The House of Delegates advanced the bill later in the day.

The measure, known as the Maryland Second Chance Act, was changed so that members of the public and employers would still be able to pull court records to view them upon request.

Supporters of the bill say its main purpose is to help people who have had nonviolent criminal misdemeanors get jobs by shielding records after at least three years. But opponents contend the public and potential employers should have access to the information.

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