The Maryland Senate voted Friday to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of the “ban the box” bill, which would bar public and private colleges and universities from requesting information about prospective students’ criminal histories on applications.
The Senate voted 32-15 to enact the measure, making Maryland the second U.S. state, behind Louisiana, to prohibit colleges from asking about criminal records on applications, The Washington Post reported. The House of Delegates overrode Hogan’s veto in a 90-50 vote on Thursday.
“Ban the box” supporters argue that questions about criminal history discourage people with criminal records from applying to colleges and universities, The Baltimore Sun reported. Those against the bill argue that without questioning applicants about their criminal history, universities could put their students in danger.
The University of Maryland Senate’s Academic Procedures and Standards Committee began discussing in September whether this university’s application should ask prospective students about their criminal or disciplinary background.
This university’s application currently asks applicants whether disciplinary action has been initiated or taken against an applicant at any institution they’ve attended, as well as whether they have been charged with, pleaded guilty to or been found guilty of any criminal offense, aside from minor traffic violations; where charges have not been expunged; and whether an applicant has pending criminal charges.
More than 150 U.S. cities and counties have adopted “ban the box” measures, barring employers from asking applicants about their conviction history, according to the National Employment Law Project.
The Maryland Senate also voted 30-17 on Friday to override another Hogan veto of a bill requiring certain businesses to provide paid sick leave to their employees. The House voted to approve the measure on Thursday in a 88-52 vote.