Statement From Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan

Earlier this year, the Governor signed an egregious Executive Order pardoning cop killers, murderers, rapists, and other sex offenders so they could vote in our elections. At the time, I called it the worst public policy misstep of his administration. 

Now, Andrew Cuomo has made a bad policy even worse by concocting a scheme to allow sex offenders, under the cloak of darkness, to vote for him and other Democrats next Thursday.

The Governor has tacitly given sex offenders permission to show up at schools after 7 p.m. to cast their votes. But what happens when a Level 3 sex offender shows up at a school at 5 or 6 o’clock, while football, soccer, cheerleading, and girls volleyball practices are finishing up? Will he be allowed to vote early or will that monster be told to wait in the parking lot where he could come into contact with other potential victims? We have laws prohibiting sex offenders from stepping foot onto school grounds, but like so many of our statutes the Governor seems hell-bent on just ignoring this one if it benefits him politically. By doing so he has put the safety of thousands of school kids and the law-abiding public at risk. 

Some politicians will do anything to win a few more votes and secure their election, but this one takes the cake. Our Senate Republican Majority will hold hearings around the state later this month to examine this misguided policy in great detail. And, I’m demanding that he reverse this shortsighted decision. But for now, parents should do whatever they think is necessary to protect their children from the dangerous sexual predators the Governor will soon turn loose into their schools.