The Opportunity to Compete Act seeks to make the job application process more fair for all New Jerseyans searching for jobs. Many Americans have to check a box on a job application that asks if they have a past criminal conviction, and employers often throw out these applications without giving the applications a fair chance. The Act asks employers to conduct criminal background checks after an interview has occurred and a conditional offer of employment has been extended to the job applicant. Allowing New Jerseyans to fairly compete for jobs improves public safety, decreases government spending on corrections and law enforcement, and enhances the economy.
The Opportunity to Compete Act gives New Jerseyans the ability to fairly compete for jobs and as a result improves public safety, decreases government spending on corrections, and enhances the economy. By giving individuals with a previous criminal history a fair chance to obtain work, these individuals are substantially less likely to engage in other criminal activity--reducing the number of individuals who return to New Jersey's correctional facilities. By reducing the statewide recidivism rates, not only does the government spend less on corrections and law enforcement, but the security and health of New Jersey communities are also improved. Past criminal histories act as a barrier to employment for 65 million Americans, and the Opportunity to Compete Act can reduce this number in New Jersey and provide individuals with the opportunity to gain income that can be used to stimulate the state and national economies.
In addition to enhancing our economy, this bill promotes and ensures that our state upholds the value of fairness in which we all believe. The Opportunity to Compete act is good for New Jersey and its residents. Thank you for acknowledging my perspective and thank you for your service to New Jersey.