Senator Owen H. Johnson supported several anti-crime bills that passed the State Senate on April 5, 2011, strengthening penalties and creating new charges for offenses relating to sexual abuse, bank robberies, home invasions and driving irresponsibly. The measures will help deter criminals, hold violators accountable and create safer communities throughout the state.
“These bills address important issues and concerns that affect the lives of everyone in our communities. I encourage the Assembly to act so that we can help make our communities safer,” Senator Johnson said.
Two bills target sex offenders and protect communities by improving post-release monitoring and restrictions on future employment. Bill S.1416 establishes penalties for failing to provide a DNA sample and failure to register or verify as a sex offender, making such failure a Class E felony for a first offense, and a Class D felony upon subsequent offenses. Bill S.1418 prohibits registered sex offenders from obtaining employment which would include unsupervised access to residential living quarters. Types of employment would include residential building superintendent, manager, maintenance worker, home or assisted living facility health aide.
A third bill (S.4194) deters potential thieves and provides an appropriate level of punishment for violators. It establishes a stronger penalty for robbery of property from a bank by making the crime a Class C felony.
Other bills acted upon include:
· Bill S.3207 expands the definitions of aggravated sexual abuse to include victims less than 13 years old when the defendant is 18 years old or more.
· Bill S.3325 requires registered sex offenders to assert compliance with all residency and employment laws.
· Bill S.3205 creates the crime of home invasion robbery in the first and second degree.
· Bill S.3225 requires mandatory license suspensions for violations of certain restrictions by licensed drivers under the age of 18.
The bills have been sent to the Assembly.