GOVERNOR VETOES SEX OFFENDER NOTIFICATION MEASURE
Legislation that would have mandated any municipality's social services department to report the placement of homeless sex offenders to police was vetoed by New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer late last month. The state measure was drafted after several residents and officials complained about Suffolk County's new program in which homeless sex offenders are placed in trailers on county property. While it passed in both the Assembly and the Senate - with NYS Senator Ken LaValle (R-Selden) sponsoring the Senate bill - the governor vetoed the legislation on July 18, calling the bill ambiguous and saying it could lead to a less reliable registry of sex offenders. Backing the legislation is Laura Ahearn, executive director of parents for Megan's Law, who said she is deeply disappointed that the governor vetoed this very important bill. Sex offenders have been using this loophole to go about the community unnoticed. Reiterating that the legislation is not going to change current registry requirements, Ahearn added that, if the law had gone into effect, the location of any level two or level three predators would be available to the public, within 24 to 48 hours of the DSS reporting them, via the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services website. Within the next two years, all states will be required to reduce the registration period from 10 days to three days, according to Ahearn. But this legislation would have required it within 24 hours, which is even better, she added.