Senate Democrats Block Bill to Toughen Sex Offender Registry

Andrew J. Lanza

May 21, 2009

Senate Democrats today defeated a common-sense bill that would elevate criminal penalties for convicted sex offenders that fail to register every year with the Division of Criminal Justice Services’ sex offender registry.  Under the Republican bill, the penalty for failure to register would be raise from a misdemeanor to a class D felony. 

The bill, supported by Senator Lanza and offered as an amendment by Senator Joseph Robach, passed the Senate each of the last two years and would ensure that communities across the State were notified of sex offenders who moved into their neighborhood and that there were real consequences for sex offenders who fail to comply.

Democrats, however, defeated the sex offender bill in a party line vote.

“Inaction on this bill jeopardizes the safety of law-abiding New Yorkers and their families,” Senator Lanza said. “ The Senate Democrats have voted against common-sense penalties that crack down on sex offenders and strengthen Megan’s Law. Protecting New Yorkers from violent sex offenders should be a priority of every member of this Legislature.”