May 15, 2012

Kansas House approves sex and drug bills

5-15-2012 Kansas:

TOPEKA — The Kansas House moved today to ease penalties on some small-time drug offenders and to take employers’ addresses off the state sex offender web site. .......

Also at Colloton’s urging, the House approved a bill to delete employers’ names and addresses from a state sex-offender web site.

The measure was part of House Bill 2568, written to eliminate unintended consequences from last year’s passage of the Kansas version of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.

The act, named for the murdered son of America’s Most Wanted host John Walsh, mandates strict reporting requirements for sex offenders and that the information from the reports be published by the state in an online database.

Colloton said including work addresses created a problem for businesses that hire ex offenders who have served their time in prison. She said the business people told her they were reluctant to hire those who had committed sexually related crimes, because they did not want their companies and/or addresses listed on the offender database.

The work addresses of sex offenders would still be public information and available on request, she said.

In addition, the bill also removes hospitals from a list of treatment facilities that must report to the state when they admit a registered sex offender.

Colloton said the Via Christi health system in Wichita was among those who requested the change, because as written, the law would require hospitals to background-check all incoming patients for prior sex offenses.

The law was actually aimed at reporting offenders in institutions such as drug- and mental-health treatment facilities and was not intended to burden general hospitals, Colloton said.

She said the attorney general’s office has decided not to enforce the requirement on hospitals for the time being, to give the Legislature time to clarify the law.

The bill passed the House 114-2. ..Source.. by Dion Lefler

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