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Monday, January 13, 2014

SB384: Patroned by Senator Bryce Reeves – Limits Contact with Minors for RSO’s at Virginia Libraries

 
Update January 14, 2013: 


I have heard from the requestor of this proposal and I now know why the proposal has been made. I have also confirmed that the goal is NOT banishment of RSO’s from Virginia Libraries as the Senators staffer stated last week on the phone. 

Now I just need to consider any unintended consequences that this bill could create. 

Stay tuned! 

Mary
 

Original Post:

SB384 

Provides that any adult who is convicted of an offense prohibiting proximity to children, when the offense occurred on or after July 1, 2014, shall as part of his sentence be forever prohibited from knowingly and intentionally having any contact whatsoever with children that are not in his custody on the premises of any place that he knows or has reason to know is a public library. A violation is a Class 6 felony. 

Last week I contacted the patron’s office to get some questions answered about this bill. Like, did something occur to inspire it, is there really a need? After 2 phone calls, an email and a 3rd call someone finally would answer my questions. Well the answer I was given on what inspired this bill was unrelated / roundabout you wouldn’t even believe it. The reason I was given has nothing to do with what the bill actually does. 

Then I was told that the overall goal of SB384 is to completely banish Registered Sex Offenders (RSO’s) from Virginia libraries, I then advised the staffer that the text in the bill does NOT banish RSO’s but instead prohibits contact within the library and minors who are not in their custody, so I then asked the staffer if she had even read the bill before the phone call. She then advise me of where this request came from and I left a message for that person last Friday afternoon and today, waiting to discuss the need and the goal of SB384. 

I even stopped by the patron’s G.A. office today asking to speak to someone about the bill and even though there were staffers in the office I was told (after they heard it was me at the reception desk) that no one was available to speak with me. 

Because I’m on stand-by for basic information about this request I’m not making this post an action item yet. 

BUT I feel I need to let everyone know about this bill today as I have not posted about it previously. 

Just in case SB384 gets scheduled on the committee docket in the very near future. 

Now before anyone jumps to conclusions about the comment the staffer made on the phone that the bill intends to banish RSO’s from Virginias Libraries (just in case the staffer slipped and shared too much with me), don’t worry! 

In January 2012 the 10th Circuit Court ruled that New Mexico’s ban on RSO’s in Libraries was unconstitutional and overturned it. I did let the staffer on the 3rd phone call know this. 
 

Action Alert: HB195 Robby’s Rule – A Victim’s $1.69 Million “Symbolic Middle Finger” Bill

 
Update January 18, 2013: 


HB195  is NOT on Monday January 2oth (Martin Luther King Jr. Day) House Courts of Justice Criminal Sub-Committee docket. 


I will keep an eye on the committee agenda’s and when it is finally scheduled I will let everyone know in a new post. I am working on my statement to the committee against this bill this weekend. 

If you have not already done so, please contact your Delegate and Senator and if you want to the entire House Courts of Justice Committee, all the addresses are below. 

Thank you! 

Mary
 

Update January 14, 2013: 

HB195 may be included on next Monday January 2oth Martin Luther King Jr. Day House Courts of Justice Criminal Sub-Committee docket.

The docket for the 2oth may post on Friday the 17th or it could be during the weekend. 

MLK Day is also “Lobby Day” a day I usually do everything possible to avoid as the G.A. building is bursting at it seams. But if HB195 is expected to be heard that day I will be there.  

As the patrons office will not share the pending amendments, I will compose a few different statements in an attempt to cover all the possibilities.  

If you have not already done so, please contact your Delegate and Senator and if you want to contact the entire House Courts of Justice Committee, all the addresses are below.  

Use any of the below points in your email if you aren’t sure of what to say.  

Thank you! 

Mary 


Original Post:

This is the third post for HB195 patroned by Delegate Ramadan also known as “Robby’s Rule”. 

HB195 proposes: 

Requires the Superintendent of State Police to establish and maintain a supplement to the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry that would include the names of persons who have committed offenses that would require registration if the offense occurred today, but who are not otherwise required to register. Any attorney for the Commonwealth or law-enforcement officer may submit a request to the Department of State Police to include a person on the supplement to the Registry. Upon receipt of a request, the Department of State Police must confirm whether the person should be included on the supplement to the Registry. 

For 3 weeks I have been trying to get some specific questions answered by the Patrons office about this proposal. With the extremely vague answers I have now been given via phone after I stopped by his G.A. office today I can say to all of you my earlier suspicions about HB195 are correct. 

Robby’s Rule is proposing that sex crimes from the 1980’s, the 1970’s, the 1960’s and maybe further back (because there is no date in the bill) be added to the Virginia Sex Offender Registry.  This means not only would a current Registered Sex Offender who is listed today with a 2010 or 1999 conviction have a pre-Registry conviction from perhaps 1984 added to their VSP posting BUT anyone with a pre-Virginia Registry conviction and no new conviction since would now be retroactively mandated to register as a Sex Offender for life. 

Someone will have to sort through decades of court files, to determine if the person convicted decades ago is alive or dead, if they still reside in the Commonwealth or another state and to force them to submit to registration without a hearing. If they live in another state when the search is done but move back 4 years later how will we know? We wouldn’t. 

I asked the staffer from the patron’s office, will this law add 5 or 5000 new people to the Virginia Registry and they didn’t know the answer because no one knows.  

No one knows how many people committed crimes decades ago that would today require registration, but yet there is a proposal to add them all to our Registry. Why?  

How much will this cost?  

How many years will this take?  


7. Fiscal Impact Estimates: Preliminary. See Items 7a and 8.
7a. Expenditure Impact: 

Fiscal Year Dollars Positions Fund
2015      $1,692,625 3 GF
2016          $463,825 3 GF
2017          $463,825 3 GF
2018          $463,825 3 GF
2019          $463,825 3 GF
2020         $463,825 3 GF