Special Session Statement from Assemblyman Kolb
December 13, 2006
“We were called to a special session with the sole purpose of addressing the subject of civil confinement; however, the Assembly majority conference refused to allow the legislation to be brought to the floor where its merits could be debated and voted on,” blasted Kolb (R,C,I -Canandaigua). “This is irresponsible and a waste of taxpayers’ money.” “In the spirit of bi-partisanship on an issue that should be non-political, the state Senate, including Lieutenant Governor-elect Paterson, unanimously passed the Civil Confinement legislation that the Assembly majority has chosen to ignore.” Kolb further went on to say, “Because the Assembly Majority would not allow the legislation to be brought to a vote, another session will elapse where there is no mechanism in place to keep the most violent sexual predators away from the law-abiding public.” The Assembly minority conference has been pushing for civil confinement legislation for the last 13 years, but it has been repeatedly blocked from the house floor by the Assembly majority. The legislation in question would require Level 3 offenders to be evaluated and those found to be the most violent and likely to repeat their offenses, be committed to psychiatric facilities for treatment at the conclusion of their prison sentence. Kolb noted not all Level 3 offenders pose significant threats to society; however, without a civil confinement law there is no effective process in place to keep the most violent sexual predators away from the law-abiding public. Previously, Gov. George Pataki used the state’s Mental Hygiene law to keep the public safe by attempting to hold numerous violent sexual predators, deemed still a threat to society, in psychiatric centers. The State Court of Appeals ruled the governor’s use of the law was improper, further necessitating the need for an additional level of civil confinement.