SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico has made it illegal for private employers to ask about a person's criminal history on an initial job application.

Workforce Solutions Secretary Bill McCamley said the new law goes into effect Friday under oversight of the state Human Rights Bureau.

Private employers are allowed to discuss prior arrests or convictions later in the hiring process. State agencies already leave out criminal history questions on initial employment applications.

Democratic state Sen. Bill O'Neill and Republican Rep. Alonzo Baldonado sponsored the legislation in an effort to give formerly incarcerated residents access to face-to-face interviews and the opportunity to provide for themselves and family.

Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says people deserve the opportunity to rebuild their lives after a criminal incident.