Broome County Leaders call on New York State Legislature to Adopt Stronger Laws to Protect Children from Sex Offenders

Broome County Legislators Matt Pasquale and Scott Baker were joined today by Windsor Village Mayor Ron Harting, Dickinson Town Supervisor Mike Marinaccio and County Executive Debbie Preston to call on the New York State Legislature to adopt stronger laws to protect children from sex offenders.

Many municipalities have laws on books to limit where all levels of sex offenders can reside. In February 2015 the New York State Court of Appeals ruled that only state law can limit where sex offenders can live and invalidated more than 100 municipal local laws and ordinances throughout the State.

"The Court of Appeals decision creates an immediate public safety issue by throwing out over 100 laws by local municipalities on where sex offenders can reside and this puts our children in harms way," said County Legislator Matt Pasquale (District 7 - Town of Union). "That is why Legislator Baker and I have introduced a Resolution this month calling on the New York State Legislature to restore the power to local municipalities on where sex offenders can reside and to adopt stronger laws for all levels of sex offenders, not just level 3 offenders."

“As Chairman of the Public Safety & Emergency Services Committee and father of three children, I take this matter very seriously,” said County Legislator Scott Baker (District 2 - Town of Windsor). “I have heard from local officials within my district whose laws have been overturned and we in the Legislature wanted to do something to show our support to them.”

State law currently only restricts the residency of level 3, or the highest level, sex offenders from residing within 1,000 feet from any school grounds or a publicly accessible area and has no limitations on level 1 or level 2 sex offenders.

“It is time to re-instate the ability of local government to protect our children,” said Village of Windsor Mayor Ron Harting.

“As leaders of our communities, we are responsible to protect our constituents and especially our children," said Town of Dickinson Supervisor Mike Marinaccio.

Currently, there are over 500 registered sex offenders residing in Broome County.

“I want to thank the Broome County Legislature for urging the state to pass legislation restricting the travel of all levels of sex offenders,” says Broome County Executive Debbie Preston.  “The most important thing is the safety of our children and we need to do everything possible at the local, state and federal level to ensure their safety.”

Legislators Pasquale and Baker have sponsored a Resolution for the April committee cycle that supports three bills currently pending before the New York State Legislature. A copy of the Resolution can be found here and will go before the County Administration and Public Safety & Emergency Services Committees for consideration next week before a full vote of the Legislature on Thursday, April 16, 2015 at the Regular April Legislative Session.

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04/02/2015 - 12:26pm