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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Considers 'Ban the Box' Legislation

Kathryn Decker

Convicted criminals in Oregon would not have to disclose their criminal history on job applications under a measure moving through the legislature.

The Oregon House narrowly voted Wednesday to approve the proposal, sometimes called "Ban the box." It would allow employers to bring up the topic during job interviews but not before.

Supporters such as Democratic Representative Rob Nosse said the measure would give someone another shot after they’ve paid their debt to society.

"All these Oregonians are asking for is to have a fair chance to convince potential employers of why they're qualified for the job and to be given the ability to explain what they can bring to an employer's business,” he said.

Opponents called it an added burden for business. Some larger employers such as Walmart and Target already skip the question about criminal history on job applications.

The measure now heads to the Oregon Senate.