A California Assembly bill – AB 1831 – that would have prohibited cities and counties in the state from requesting criminal background information on initial job applications failed when the Senate Governance and Finance Committee decided not to extend similar restrictions on criminal record inquiries California adopted for state employees in 2010 to local governments, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Introduced by Assemblyman Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento) to help job seekers with a criminal history compete fairly with other applicants, AB 1831 would have allowed local governments to run background checks after finding the job applicant initially qualified, according to a report from Employment Screening Resources News. The text of the bill, which Dickinson said he will try to re-introduce next year, is available here: California Assembly Bill 1831.

AB 1831 would have prohibited local governments in the state “from inquiring into or considering the criminal history of an applicant or including any inquiry about criminal history on any initial employment application.” The bill would only authorize a local government to consider the criminal history of a job applicant “after the applicant’s qualifications have been screened and the agency has determined the applicant meets the minimum employment requirements as stated in any notice issued for the position,” ESR News reports.

Several cities and counties across the U.S. have already joined the “Ban the Box” movement and removed the box that job applicants are asked to check next to the question on job applications inquiring about past criminal arrests and convictions, the article says.

By removing this question, ESR News reports, supporters claim job applicants can be sure that they will not be automatically excluded for consideration for a job because of their past mistakes and give those applicants with criminal pasts a fair shot at obtaining employment.