December 8, 2016

New sex offender rules stalled

12-8-16 Michigan:

LANSING – Passage seems increasingly unlikely for a bill that would limit the places registered sex offenders can work and was inspired by the discovery that sex offenders worked at a Lansing nonprofit that serves victims of sexual assault.

The bill from state Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr., D-Meridian Township, would make it illegal for sex offenders to work for organizations that serve victims of sexual assault or children. The bill was inspired by a State Journal report in June that three registered sex offenders were simultaneously volunteering at the Listening Ear, a Lansing nonprofit that runs a crisis hotline for victims of sexual assault and others.

The offenders had answered calls to the hotline and had volunteered alongside victims of sexual assault who didn't know the men were offenders.

But Hertel's bill has been waiting for a vote in the Senate since July, and there's no indication it's going to advance in the seven session days scheduled for the remainder of the year.

Even if the bill cleared the Senate, it still would have to pass the state House. Bills that don't pass both chambers by the end of the year have to be reintroduced in the new term that begins next month.

"The issue is still a priority for me, and we're working to get it done," Hertel said Wednesday. ..Continued.. by Justin A. Hinkley , Lansing State Journal

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