Friday, February 8, 2013

UT - House passes bill preventing sex offenders against children from running for school board

Original Article

02/07/2013

By Lisa Riley Roche

SALT LAKE CITY — The House passed a bill 47-27 Thursday intended to keep felons convicted of sex crimes against children from running for a local or state school board.

The sponsor of HB64, Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-Salt Lake City, said she was contacted by many people in her district concerned about a school board candidate on the 2012 ballot who had been convicted of sex abuse against a child.

That candidate, [name withheld], lost his bid for a seat on the Granite School District board after his status as a registered sex offender who pleaded guilty in 1990 to sex abuse of a child became public.

"I don't believe in denying a person the right to restore his reputation and participate fully in our system, with one exception," Moss said.

She said sex offenders are restricted from visiting public schools, making it difficult to carry out the duties of a school board member.

[name withheld]' candidacy was seen as affront to the sensibilities of her constituents, Moss said, describing his decision to run for the school board as "almost an in-your-face" dare to try to stop him from running.

But several lawmakers questioned the need for the bill, which now goes to the Senate.

Rep. Jim Nielson, R-Bountiful, asked why the prohibition didn't apply to candidates for any office. Sheriffs, city council members and others, Nielson said, also have contact with children.

And Rep. Earl Tanner, R-West Jordan, suggested voters should make the decision about who is qualified to serve.

"Why isn't the judgment of the people sufficient," he said, noting the 2012 candidate lost the race.

Rep. Brian Greene, R-Pleasant Grove, said he opposed the bill because it is bad policy.

"We've all seen people do things we don't like," said Greene, who had cast the lone vote against the bill in committee. "But we don't go out and create legislation against them. It's not proper use of our legislative authority."

He said the bill did not address candidates convicted of selling drugs or other serious crimes that involved children.


MI - Law would require registered sex offenders to pay annual fee

Original Article

Requiring ex-sex offenders to continually pay a fee and other ex-felons do not have to is pretty much extortion.

02/07/2013

By RINA MILLER

The more than 40,000 registered sex offenders in Michigan may soon be required to pay an annual fee.

They currently pay a one-time $50 charge, but most offenders will be on the registry for 25 years to life.

State Senator Rick Jones says the database costs Michigan State Police about $1 million a year to maintain. He's working on a bill that would require sex offenders to pay $50 or $100 a year.
- I don't buy this.  How does adding records to or changing records in a database cost $1 million per year?

"I want to keep troopers on the road," Jones says. "This is not too much to ask sex offenders to pay a dollar or two dollars a week."
- When many of them are homeless and jobless due to the online registry and residency laws, then it's too much to ask.

Jones believes he'll get almost unanimous support for the bill.

"The only ones who object are the offenders," he says. "We hope that the sex offender list helps keep them out of trouble. We hope that it keeps children away from them and keeps them out of prison. Therefore, this is simply a fee that they will be paying for that service."
- So why don't you force all other ex-felons to pay some fee for your service?

"It's legal in many other states", Jones says. "It's working. It will work here."

Ohio and Illinois each charge registered sex offenders $100 per year; Indiana charges $50 annually.


AUSTRALIA - The internet and child exploitation material: why we need to get smart(er) about demand reduction (12/11/2012)


RSOL (Reform Sex Offender Laws) 2012 Conference


RSOL (Reform Sex Offender Laws) 2011 Conference