A new council that began the year with ambition and promises to do big things started winding down 2023 by passing a flurry of legislation this week in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Much of the legislation passed unanimously, as the county council spent months amending and improving bills before the end of the year. One bill prevents landlords from asking prospective tenants the same question that many employers are no longer allowed to ask job seekers: do they have a criminal record?
The Returning Citizens Fair Chance to Housing Act, with some exceptions, passed easily on Tuesday.
“You will hear the majority of them say when they are being released, ‘I’m going home,’ which is normally not true. They don’t have a home. They have been incarcerated for a long period of time,” said Robin Bell, who works with returning citizens and spoke in favor of the bill. “So they’re going to someone else’s home, which creates a problem.”