Contact: Josh Hills, 518-455-3756
For Immediate Release:
Thursday, December 08, 2005

Statement from Assembly Minority Leader James N. Tedisco
Assembly Majority movement on civil confinement a welcome but long overdue step

As a member of the Assembly Minority Conference and now as its Leader, I have always been proud of the ideas we have turned into laws. But never have I been prouder of our hard work than yesterday, when our efforts - and the efforts of many others - actually persuaded the Assembly Majority to put forward a civil confinement proposal of its own.

That being said, I have four words for Assembly Majority members: Let's do it now. Since 1993 my Assembly Minority colleagues and I have been pushing for this law and have never had the opportunity to vote on it. We have held numerous public events and have collected tens of thousands of signatures in support of this law. As the Governor and Senate acted to protect our families, while the Assembly Majority stalled, countless sex offenders have been released into our communities. In fact, just since the Legislative Session ended in June, 248 Level 3 sex offenders have been released.

Assuming the Majority's press release is truly reflective of their bill, and that bill is the first order of business in the coming session, this will represent a substantial victory for Assembly Minority members and 19 million New Yorkers. I am certain that it will pass in the Assembly by an overwhelming margin if and when it is brought to the floor for a vote.

Given the delay tactics of the past, we can only hope this is not another smokescreen. It will not be acceptable for the Speaker and his Conference to simply talk about their support for civil confinement and as the pressure subsides, not bring it to a vote.

If there is disagreement between the Governor and the Legislature on the language of the law, a conference committee should be immediately convened for the benefit of all New Yorkers. We can't wait any longer. The safety of our children depends on swift action. This must be the first act of the 2006 Session.

New York State Assembly
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