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Springfield Rep Kyle Koehler Testifies On Behalf Of Fresh Start Act

Kyle Koehler campaign
Springfield State Representative Kyle Koehler addresses the Ohio House in 2017.

State Representative Kyle Koehler, from Clark County, presented testimony on behalf of House Bill 263, or The Fresh Start Act, in the Ohio Senate on Wednesday.

Kohler says nearly 20 percent of working Ohioans require an occupational license to do their jobs. However, many licensing boards in the state reject applicants due to their prior criminal history.

“If we really want to truly reform criminal justice in Ohio and improve our workforce, and empower individuals to have a second chance at the American dream," Koehler says. "We must reform Ohio’s occupational licensing structure.”

Kohler says the bill would eliminate the blanket ban on all applicants who had committed a crime within the last five years. The bill would also require boards to explicitly state which crimes disqualify someone from getting an occupational license. The Fresh Start Act passed the House on a 90-1 vote, with 56 co-sponsors.

Environmental reporter Chris Welter is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Chris Welter is an Environmental Reporter at WYSO through Report for America. In 2017, he completed the radio training program at WYSO's Eichelberger Center for Community Voices. Prior to joining the team at WYSO, he did boots-on-the-ground conservation work and policy research on land-use issues in southwest Ohio as a Miller Fellow with the Tecumseh Land Trust.