In a near party-line vote, California state Democratic legislators killed a bill on Tuesday that would have banned the state’s Obamacare exchange from hiring felons convicted of financial crimes.
Critics of the bill said the legislation was overly restrictive and could be “discriminatory under federal civil rights law,” reports the Los Angeles Times.
The bill’s backer, Assemblywoman Connie Conway (R-Tulare), said she simply intended to help protect California Obamacare customers’ sensitive information from financial crimes.
“I believe in second chances but not giving those convicted of forgery or fraud access to people’s Social Security numbers or tax returns,” said Conway. “Today’s vote by the majority party means that consumers who sign up for a plan through Covered California will still be at risk of having their private information compromised by those who have committed financial crimes.”
California Health Line reports that between June 2013 and November 2013, 31 individuals convicted of felonies or misdemeanors were approved as Obamacare enrollment counselors, including crimes of battery, burglary, forgery, shoplifting, and welfare fraud.