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Bill To Prevent Credit Checks Moves Forward At State Capitol

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An image from the credit check debate on Tuesday (credit: CBS)

An image from the credit check debate on Tuesday (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4)- A bill that has been the subject of heated debate at the state Capitol has passed the Senate and moves forward to the House.

The bill would prevent employers from using a job applicant’s credit record in the hiring process.

It passed in the Senate Tuesday with a 20-15 vote but it faces a tougher road in the House where the Republicans have the majority.

Democrats claim the bill is about protecting people hit by the recession. Republicans believe the government shouldn’t interfere in business.

“Sixty percent of employers are pulling credit reports on job applicants to screen out people who don’t have good credit,” said Sen. Morgan Carroll.

The Democrat who represents Aurora is sponsoring the bill that would limit that use. Carroll said it was unfair especially during a recession.

“You cannot lose your job and keep good credit. You can’t pay your bills if you don’t have the income to do it,” said Carroll.

She said a credit report doesn’t show what is important to an employer like job skills, reliability and past job performance.

“None of that is found in a credit report. You find that out by checking references, by talking to past employers, by doing interviews,” said Carroll.

Job search expert Andrew Hudson said checking one’s credit makes it harder for people to get hired.

“It’s very, very difficult for job seekers right now. The great recession has created a lot of unfriendly situations for folks,” said Hudson.

Opponents claim the bill is just another way for government to regulate business.

“It can reveal if something’s not telling the truth and we all know in an interview we put our best face forward,” said Sen. Ellen Roberts, a Republican representing Montrose.

“This bill does not get people to work. In fact, it may get more employers to say it’s too hard to do business in Colorado.”

If the bill makes it through the House, companies required to do the checks for federal contracts would be exempt as well as those in the financial or security sectors.

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