April 25, 2012

Bills would limit sex offenders' access to libraries

4-25-2012 Louisiana:

Baton Rouge -- Bills that would limit sex offenders' access to public libraries, make the killing of a taxi driver first-degree murder and increase penalties for the theft of copper were approved by a Senate committee Tuesday afternoon.

Senate Bill 162 would give the governing boards of libraries the ability to tailor their own restrictions on sex offenders. Bill sponsor Sen. Dale Erdey, R-Livingston, had originally proposed prohibiting sex offenders from libraries altogether but opted to give local boards the ability to make their own rules to avoid restricting access in unconstitutional ways.

Sex offenders are already prohibited from a range of facilities, but the First Amendment has generally been interpreted as protecting the right to access information, Erdey said.

"People who prey on our children are among the most dangerous criminals we face. They target on our most precious and our most vulnerable citizens, that being our children," he said.

At the request of Sen. Jonathan Perry, R-Kaplan, Erdey agreed to work on a way to standardize restrictions across districts before the bill reaches the Senate floor. Committee members unanimously gave their approval to the bill. ..Source.. by Jeff Adelson, The Times-Picayune

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