Criminal background check proposal advanced by lawmakers

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SPRINGFIELD - Lawmakers have advanced a proposal that would restrict most businesses from asking job applicants about their criminal record until later in the hiring process.

The legislation was approved in a Senate committee vote 11-2.  The measure, sponsored by state Senator Tony Munoz, would not allow employers with more than 15 employees to inquire about criminal history until the applicant is determined to be qualified.  

Construction, emergency medical services, and security-related businesses would be excluded, and the measure also wouldn't apply to jobs that currently require background checks under law.

Supporters say the measure would give former criminals a better chance to improve their lives, but opponents say it could contradict certain background check requirements in the health care industry.
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