With the 2005 legislative session drawing to a close, the fate of legislation that would strengthen laws regarding sex offenders is uncertain. If no action is taken this year, Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga) is preparing for next year’s fight by initiating a petition drive calling for passage of the public-safety measures.
"Sex offenders need to be controlled," said Tedisco. "I don’t buy the idea that restricting them and making their names, addresses and photos available to the public will drive sex offenders to commit their crimes again. When a sex offender lives across the street or down the road, we deserve to know. My priority is to protect New Yorkers from violent, sexual attacks. This can be done by monitoring the worst sex offenders, making their presence in a community known and keeping those likely to recommit civilly confined."
Tedisco said his petition will be mailed to households in his district, consisting of parts of Schenectady and Saratoga counties. The petition calls for passage of proposals to strengthen Meagan’s Law:
- Civil confinement to keep the most dangerous sexual predators locked up after their sentences are complete (A.2693)
- Prevent convicted sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school or school grounds (A.1564)
- Require the most dangerous sex offenders to wear electronic devices linked to Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites to monitor their movements (A.8158)
- Expand information available about sex offenders on the Division of Criminal Justice Services’ Web site to include information on all registered offenders (A.1701)
- Require law enforcement to release information on Level 2 and 3 sex offenders – those at the highest risk of committing additional crimes – to vulnerable populations in the community (A.1654)
- Require lifetime registration for all sex offenders on the state Sex Offender Registry.
"I urge residents to watch for this petition in their mailboxes, get the signatures and return it to my office. Should Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver fail to see the importance of these proposals, we need to be prepared to show him what they mean to the safety and well-being of our families," Tedisco said.
Residents wanting additional petition copies may contact Assemblyman Tedisco’s office at (518) 370-2812.