Senator Foley, Assemblyman Alessi, Legislator Browning Blast Veto of Sex Offender Legislation

Brian X. Foley

September 24, 2010

Senator Brian X. Foley (D – Blue Point), Assemblyman Marc Alessi (D, I – Shoreham) and Legislator Kate Browning (WFP – Shirley) blasted Governor Paterson’s veto of important legislation that would have further protected our communities from sex offenders.

The legislation, Senate Bill 8026A/Assembly Bill 10973A, would have required the Suffolk County Commissioner of Social Services to notify the Department of Criminal Justice Services and local law enforcement officials when a homeless sex offender is moved into temporary housing. Senator Foley, Assemblyman Alessi and Legislator Browning, along with members of the greater Suffolk County community, feel strongly that local law enforcement should be made aware of the names and whereabouts of sex offenders so that our communities may be better protected. This legislation is especially important because sex offenders themselves are not required to notify the state registry for ten days after moving.

“This law would provide an added sense of protection and security for the residents of Suffolk County,” said Senator Foley. “The Governor’s reasoning that the law would exempt certain offenders from registering with the state’s Sex Offender Registry is without merit. Rather than removing the reporting requirement already in place, it adds a level of reporting for offenders who are being placed by a county agency. I strongly urge my colleagues to join with me in swiftly overriding this veto so that we may give all residents, but particularly parents, greater peace of mind.”

“This is just another example of how the governor is out of touch with the needs of our communities,” said Assemblyman Alessi. “It’s time for government to start working for the people, not against them. I plan on reintroducing the bill next session and am confident that with a new governor it will become law. The safety of our children and families has always been a top priority and I will continue to fight to give our local officials as much information as I can so they can do their jobs.”

“I am very displeased with the Governors decision to veto this important piece of legislation,” stated Legislator Browning. “I am a sponsor of the ¼ mile law which prohibits sex offenders from living within a ¼ mile of schools, daycare facilities and playgrounds. My constituents and I want to know that if a homeless sex offender is moved into temporary housing, that the local law enforcement agency is notified because they enforce areas that are restricted under the law. This will close a dangerous loophole to protect our families and I urge the legislature to override the governor’s veto.”

The legislation was passed by both the senate and the assembly during the 2010 session. The Governor announced the veto yesterday.