May 6, 2015

Legislators push new sex offender restrictions

Note, not one of these lawmakers mentions any new sex offense/s as a basis for their desire to change the laws/ordinances. In reality they have no basis except likely to further punish under the ruse of protecting children. Not one of them have reviewed or cites research on where, how and by whom new sex offenses occur.
5-6-15 New York:

Legislators from the town, county and state level gathered at Eisenhower Park on May 1 to publicize legislation currently in the state Assembly that would give local municipalities the authority to enforce their own laws restricting convicted sex offenders from living near schools and parks.

The legislation is in response to a February 2015 state Court of Appeals decision that determined existing state law pre-empts municipalities from imposing residency restrictions on sex offenders.

Nassau County Legislature Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves was joined by fellow Republican officials Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, Councilman Anthony Santino, State Senator Michael Venditto, and Assemblyman Ed Ra in the Let All The Children Play accessible playground in Eisenhower Park’s Field 2.

The rejected bill, passed in 2006 by the Nassau County Legislature, would have prevented Level 3, 2 and 1 sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet from a school or 500 feet from a park countywide.

The Board of Appeals decision on Feb. 17, ruling on the case “The People v. Michael Diack,” said that a local government is constitutionally able to enact local laws relating to the welfare of its citizens, but “is prohibited from exercising that power through the adoption of local laws that are inconsistent with the New York State Constitution or any general law of the state.”

Gonsalves said local officials immediately enlisted the help of state officials to introduce new legislation after the Court of Appeals decision. “That was a blow for not only those who proposed it,” said Gonsalves, ‘but for the children and their families.”

Current state law only imposes restrictions on Level 3 — the highest level — sex offenders, according to Ra, who is sponsoring the bill in the Assembly, where it is now.

The new legislation, which was introduced in the Senate by Venditto, Richard Funke and Terrence Murphy on Feb. 20, would allow municipalities statewide to enforce their own residency restrictions on sex offenders of all levels.

The officials also argued that one uniform code is not appropriate for all municipalities, which have varying populations and topographies.

“The local governments, such as towns and villages, should have the authority to restrict sex offender residency in their home communities,” Venditto said. “They know their hometowns better than any one else.”

Murray said the town is already crafting its own local sex offender restriction code in anticipation of the proposed bill becoming a law. “Working together, we can help keep our communities safe,” Murray said. “I encourage residents to contact their stage legislators to urge their support of this bill for the sake of our children.” by David Weingrad

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