The House of Representatives passed on Wednesday the bipartisan Prison to Proprietorship for Formerly Incarcerated Act designed to help people who are released from prison reenter society with the opportunity to contribute to their communities through business entrepreneurship.

U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett, Republican representing Tennessee's 2nd District, and U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jefferies, Democrat representing New York’s 8th District, co-authored the bill.

Burchett’s office said in a news release that many formerly incarcerated individuals face barriers when reentering the workforce. This legislation provides nonviolent prisoners small-business counseling and training services to help prepare them to be entrepreneurs or start their own small business after prison.

“Some individuals who have paid their debt to society deserve a second chance at success, and this includes giving folks reentering the workforce a shot at entrepreneurship and small business ownership,” Burchett said during his floor speech in support of the bill. “I’m a firm believer in giving folks the opportunity to succeed, and this bill makes sure those who are rejoining society have the skills and knowledge to do so.”

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