TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has signed into law legislation to ease restriction facing residents seeking to expunge criminal records.

Christie, a Republican, signed the three bill Wednesday at his office in Trenton alongside the bills’ Democratic sponsors.

He says the bills represent the opportunity for criminal offenders to have a “second chance.”

Specifically, the legislation would bar employers from inquiring whether prospective employees have had their criminal records expunged.

Another would increase the number of convictions that could be expunged.

A third measure reduces from five to three years how long juvenile offenders must wait before seeking to expunge records.

Christie cast the legislation as part of his administration’s overall effort at overhauling criminal justice. Christie expanded drug courts and overhauled the bail system.

He leaves office Jan. 16.

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