Proposed bill would give tax credit for hiring ex-convict - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Proposed bill would give tax credit for hiring ex-convict

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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Newly elected State Senator Marlon Kimpson has proposed a bill that would earn an employer a tax credit for hiring an ex-convict. Kimpson is the sole legislator on the bill, which he filed in December.

According to Kimpson, South Carolina has one of the highest recidivism rates, which measures the times an individual returns to prison after being released.

"This idea came to me noticing the number of people who were trying to make a fresh start in life and whatever I can help, whether it's a formerly incarcerated individual or not, that is what government should do, work for people."

Each employer will receive $500 a month per formerly incarcerated individual, up to $50,000 a year. The bill does not apply to violent offenders, only first-time offenders who have served 90 days or more.

"This bill will encourage employers to take a chance on someone who simply made a mistake but has turned their life around."

Kimpson, who was sworn into office just over four months ago, says the bill is also financially sound. He says the state spends $20,000 a year to incarcerate an individual.

"We have to have programs designed to help those people get a job, make a fresh start and become productive citizens, and this is a start."

The bill has been assigned to the Finance Committee. Kimpson says he hopes to drum up support while it is debated and negotiated there.

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