(CBS DETROIT) – Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist visited Flint on Wednesday for the state’s first expungement event since the governor signed the Clean Slate bills into law.

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The governor and lieutenant governor were joined by Attorney General Dana Nessel, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Congressman Dan Kildee and Genesee County Sheriff Christopher Swanson.

Setting aside a conviction, sometimes called expungement of criminal records, will remove a specific conviction from a public criminal record.

If returning citizens get an order setting aside their conviction, they can legally state on any job or school application that they have never been convicted of or arrested for that crime. They will also be able to state that they have not been convicted of that crime on applications for public benefits, housing or employment.

The governor said the Clean Slate legislation is “crucial for Michiganders who are seeking opportunities for employment, housing, and more.”

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“Expungement is an opportunity to grow our workforce and expand access to job training and education for so many people. Let’s recommit ourselves to empowering every Michigander to pursue their potential as we emerge from the pandemic and turbocharge our economic recovery,” said Whitmer.

Gilchrist said when he took office as a lieutenant governor, he made it clear that he would focus on “building and delivering fundamental reforms to make our communities safer and improve people’s outcomes who come into contact with our criminal legal system.”

“The process of clearing a criminal offense from your record has long been too narrow, too difficult, and too expensive for the overwhelming majority of Michiganders who have some kind of record. Today, and going forward, we will continue to open wide every doorway to opportunity and civic participation in ways that change the lives of Michiganders for the better,” Gilchrist said.

Michiganders are encouraged to check their eligibility and apply to participate in an expungement fair. For more information, visit here.

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