DENVER (CBS4)– State lawmakers are considering a ban on job applications from inquiring whether applicants have a criminal history.

The criminal history inquiry is already banned on state government job applications.

Supporters say employment is one of the biggest factors in determining whether someone will re-offend.

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“We of course want to prosecute people who have committed crimes and make sure that they pay price for committing the crime and get rehabilitated so they don’t do it again, but if they can’t find jobs, they can’t find housing afterwards and they are more likely to commit more crimes,” said Rep. Mike Foote, a Democrat representing Lafayette.

Copter4 flew over the state Capitol (credit: CBS)

“What we are saying is that sometimes that information is necessary and most applications, if someone has a criminal history, they can explain whatever their circumstance was in that application. The more information an employer has… the better,” said Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry spokeswoman Loren Furman.

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The Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry opposes the bill, saying it will simply force employers to spend more money upfront on background checks for job candidates.

A similar bill died in the state Legislature last year.