Illinois is attempting to make it easier for people with criminal records to get a job in the healthcare industry after Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed a new measure at the end of July. 

In Illinois, ex-offenders with certain convictions can’t work in a healthcare setting without being granted a healthcare worker waiver.

 Senate Bill 1965, which was effective immediately, streamlines the waiver application process for people with disqualifying convictions. It also allows more eligible organizations to start fingerprint-based background checks and job candidates to obtain waivers before receiving a job offer, according to the governor’s office.

Speeding up background checks can allow nursing homes to potentially fill vacant positions faster.

“They’re still being held the same standards without compromising the safety of our residents, so we had no issues with this,” Ashley Snavely, legislative director for the Illinois Health Care Association, told McKnight’s

“It’s hard enough to find employees within our profession to work for us. The bill would reduce the timeframe it would take for employers to have to initiate the background check information, while still keeping the same standards for the employee.”