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The North Dakota State Capitol. Forum News Service file photo

Bill obscuring government job applicants' criminal history signed by Burgum

BISMARCK — Gov. Doug Burgum has signed a bill restricting public employers' ability to inquire about a job applicant's criminal history.

Burgum, a Republican, signed House Bill 1282 Tuesday, March 12, his spokesman said. It reflects "ban the box" efforts elsewhere to give released inmates a better chance of employment, thereby reducing chances for recidivism.

The bill would prevent certain public entities from asking about an applicant's criminal past until they're chosen for an interview. It only applies to state, county and city governments, as well as park districts, but school districts and the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation won't be subject to the mandate.

HB 1282, championed by Fargo Democratic Rep. Mary Schneider, becomes effective Aug. 1.

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