June 30, 2015

Party-Line Vote Kills Runner’s Sex-Offender Residency Bill

6-30-15 California:

Sen. Sharon Runner announced Tuesday her legislation to make sex-offender residency restrictions more workable, while keeping the integrity of voter approved Jessica’s Law intact was struck down by the Senate Public Safety Committee. Senate Bill 54 sought to clarify confusion caused by In Re Taylor, the recent decision of the California Supreme Court regarding CDCR’s enforcement of sex offenders in San Diego County.

SB 54 was killed on a party-line vote, with the committee’s liberal majority voting against the measure.

“I am disappointed the Democrats on the Senate Public Safety Committee do not understand the importance of this bill,” said Runner, R-Antelope Valley. “The California Supreme Court decision creates uncertainty. County governments need a clear process to protect voter approved residency restrictions when possible and expedite relief when necessary. SB 54 provided much needed clarity.”

SB 54 would have granted the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of each county primary jurisdiction to consolidate and hear petitions challenging the 2,000 foot residency restriction as laid out in Jessica’s Law. The Court could grant relief if it was established that there was a pervasive lack of compliant housing in a particular county.

The bill also clarified how 2,000 feet should be measured and ensured only violent sex offenders would be subject to the residency restriction.

“As an author of Jessica’s Law, I continue to stand behind the package of reforms that have made California’s communities safer,” said Runner. “The residency restrictions outlined in Jessica’s Law protect the safety of California’s children.”

Runner authored voter-approved Jessica’s Law along with her husband, Board of Equalization Vice Chair George Runner, in 2006. In addition to mandatory residency restrictions for sex offenders, the comprehensive law increased penalties for the most egregious sex offenses and provides law enforcement with more tools to impede, apprehend and incarcerate sex offenders.

SB 54 garnered support from law enforcement and public safety groups including the Association of Code Enforcement Officers, Association of Deputy District Attorneys, California College and University Police Chiefs Association, California Narcotics Officers Association, Crime Victims United, the Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, the Los Angeles Police Protective League and the Riverside Sheriffs’ Association. ..Source.. by Press Release

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