Legislation that would revise procedures and eligibility for the expungement of criminal records, particularly those involving minor marijuana offenses, cleared both the New Jersey Assembly and Senate.
The bill now heads to Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk for his signature.
Advocates say the bill—reached as a compromise after expungement of marijuana offenses was made separate from legislation intended to legalize recreational marijuana use for those 21 and over—will go toward reforming the criminal justice system and aid communities hardest hit by low-level marijuana offenses and put more resources toward treatment and rehabilitation.
The Senate bill, S-3205, sponsored by Sen. Sandra Bolden Cunningham, D-Hudson, Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz, D-Essex, and Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, passed the Senate by a 24-12 vote on Monday in Trenton.
The Assembly version of the bill, A-4498, won final legislative approval in the full Assembly, 50-15-6, also on Monday.