Assemblyman Bill Reilich (R,C,I-Greece) today joined his Assembly minority colleagues in demanding action from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to address a flaw in Megan’s Law that will allow dangerous sex offenders to stop reporting their information on the state Sex Offender Registry.
The registry, established as part of Megan’s Law in January 1996, calls for Level 1 and 2 offenders to register their information for 10 years. On January 21, data about 168 offenders will drop from the registry if an extender bill or amended statute is not agreed to and passed by the state Legislature. By the end of 2006, information about 3,579 sexual predators would be removed from the registry if corrective action isn’t taken.
The Assembly minority today attempted to amend a majority-sponsored bill that provides for only a 14-month extension of the registration requirement. The Assembly majority rejected the amendment which, in essence, “means the Assembly majority voted against lifetime registration,” said Reilich. The majority proceeded to pass its 14-month extension bill.
“Nearly 170 offenders will be dropped from the registry in less than two weeks,” said Reilich. “We must take action now, because lifetime registration is the best way to protect New Yorkers from these dangerous predators.
“Speaker Sheldon Silver has made it clear he and his colleagues feel a 14-month extension would suffice as the federal government is slated to act on similar legislation soon.”
Reilich said the minority members did earn a victory after Silver agreed to form a conference committee so its members can develop a solution agreeable to both sides. “The minority members presented that idea just recently, and that it needed to be held immediately,” said Reilich. “I’m elated that Speaker Silver agrees with my minority colleagues and me on at least this one idea.
“Our children and families cannot fall second to partisan politics. We need to act now.”