Gov. Kasich signs 'Second Chance' bill for ex-offenders

Gov. Kasich signs 'Second Chance' bill for ex-offenders
Published: Jul. 26, 2012 at 2:42 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 26, 2012 at 3:03 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Governor John Kasich is giving ex-offenders a second chance.

Last month Kasich signed Senate Bill 337; the Collateral Sanction Reform Bill into law.

The law helps remove the barriers for non-violent ex-offenders to get a job and expunge their criminal record.

Cleveland Democratic Senator Shirley Smith co-sponsored the bill with Cincinnati Republican Senator Bill Seitz.

Local advocate and Mt. Healthy native Brent Bedgood has been fighting to reform the law for years as he spent the last decade trying to find a job.

"I would get to second and third interviews, I would get a work schedule, by the time my background check would come in, I would definitely not have a job due to that felony," says Bedgood.

Bedgood was indicted in 2001 on a felonious charge of unpaid child support for his oldest daughter Arianna.

Arianna, 18, now lives with Bedgood, his wife Kristie and their two children Poetrie, 9 and Parker, 5.

"It's very hard to get a job with any type of felony because no one looks in depth of what the felony is, it just says a felony," says Bedgood.

Married in 2000, Kristie has been supporting the family financially for ten years.

"We talk about the mental and emotional piece, that's a given, but the financial piece being the single income of a family of five was a really big cross to carry," says Kristie Bedgood.

After spending hundreds of hours volunteering with the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati, Bedgood was offered a job as an outreach coordinator in February.

"Now that he is back to work, it is night and day the person that I live with. He is so positive, he is so ready to take life on again," says Kristie Bedgood.

"This bill is going to definitely re-start my life because now I'm able to start from ground zero. I'm able to be Brent Bedgood, who I was before the felony," says Bedgood.

The law will officially take effect in September.

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