Senator Saland Announces Legislation Passed Today To Strengthen Megan’s Law

Stephen M. Saland

March 26, 2009

 Senator Steve Saland (R,C Poughkeepsie) today announced that he has sponsored legislation which passed the Senate to strengthen Megan’s Law.

The Senate passed the "Eleventh Anniversary, Twenty-First Century Omnibus Sex Offender Registration Reform Act" (S.4793-C) today. Among the provisions in this bill are:

Mandatory Community Notification: Under current law, it is left up to the discretion of the police whether they notify community members about the presence of a sex offender.

Website and Electronic Communication: This legislation expands the Division of Criminal Justice Services’ website to include information about all sex offenders, not only the Level Three offenders under current law. In addition, visitors to the website would be able to register for e-mail notification regarding sex offenders living in, or relocating to, their zip code.

Global Positioning System (GPS) Tracking: This legislation would require all Level Three offenders to wear a GPS monitoring device for the duration of registration. The Act includes numerous provisions relating to the type of GPS system the offender must wear, the offender’s required contribution to its cost, penalties for the removal or disabling of the tracking device, and judicial authority to modify the tracking equipment.

"I am pleased that we passed legislation today which would substantially strengthen our laws protecting children from sexual predators," said Senator Saland. "Each of these initiatives is an important part of our continued effort to protect our communities from recidivist sexual predators."

 Additional legislation sponsored by Senator Saland which passed the Senate today:

-Would prohibit a sex offender from knowingly entering within 1000 feet of a public or private school, child care center, or places where children congregate, such as a playground. (S.913-A)

-Increase the penalty for gang sexual assault from a misdemeanor to a class E felony (S.3230);

-Prohibit sex offenders from being employed in any position that requires substantial contact with children. (S.204-A).

-Make failure to report to the determination hearing a violation of the Act, require the court to hold the hearing in the offender’s absence if the offender fails to appear, and require a sex offender to sign and return an annual verification form, regardless of whether the offender has moved (S.1169-A).

In addition the Senate proposed legislation today "Nixzmary’s Law" sponsored by Senator Saland which would create the crime of aggravated murder of a child. The crime would mandate a sentence of life without parole for the parent, guardian or other person in a position of trust, who abuses and tortures a child under the age of 14, causing the death of the child or intentionally causes the death of a child.