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Friday, March 17, 2017

Action Item for Virginia HB1485-Patroned by Delegate Dickie Bell, Ask Governor McAuliffe to Veto it OR to Amend it, TODAY!


Update 4:50PM 03/17:

In the last hour LIS has updated HB1485, Governor McAuliffe signed it into law yesterday. It was only posted in LIS 2-3 days ago that the Bill was headed to the Governor. So much for public comment or amendments to be considered in Virginia. It’s an anti-Sex Offender Bill? Sign it, sign it, sign it! Don’t ask questions, don’t consider the collateral consequences, they’re JUST Sex Offenders.

The Virginia State Police will be applying this new law retroactively upon RSO’s whose convictions go back as far as 2000 and the VSP will NOT be notifying them of their new restrictions ahead of time. 

Mary 

Original Post:

HB1485 adds any person convicted of an offense under the laws of any foreign country or any political subdivision thereof, or the United States or any political subdivision thereof to:
·         §§ 18.2-370.2 (Loitering) within 100 feet:
§      A primary, secondary or high school, if the conviction is on or after July 1, 2000
§      A child day center if the conviction is on or after July 1, 2006
§      A locality operated playground, athletic field or facility, or gymnasium, if the conviction is on or after July 1, 2008 “for the purpose of having any contact whatsoever with children that are not in his custody”
·         §§ 18.2-370.3 (Residency) within 500 feet:
§      A primary, secondary or high school, if the conviction is on or after July 1, 2006 and if the Offender is 3 or more years older than the victim
§      A child day center (as defined in § 63.2-100 ), if the conviction is on or after July 1, 2006 and if the Offender is 3 or more years older than the victim
§      The boundary line of any place he knows is a public park, if the conviction is on or after July 1, 2008 and if the Offender is 3 or more years older than the victim  when such park:
                                                      (i) Is owned and operated by a county, city or town
                                                      (ii) Shares a boundary line with a primary, secondary, or high school
                                                      (iii) Is regularly used for school activities
                        * The residence is allowed if the school, daycare or park is established subsequent to his conviction
·         §§ 18.2-370.4 (Employment or Volunteering)
§      A primary, secondary or high school, if the conviction is on or after July 1, 2006 and if the Offender is 3 or more years older than the victim
§      A child day center if the conviction is on or after July 1, 2006 and if the Offender is 3 or more years older than the victim 

And a grandfather clause was added for residences established prior to July 1, 2017. 
 

The Virginia State Police will be applying HB1485 retroactively to Registered Sex Offenders who are already listed on the VSP Registry for an out-of-state, Federal, Military, Foreign or Tribal conviction will now be obligated to abide by these 3 changes in VA Code. 

But the VSP refuses to notify those affected RSO’s of the change in law that will apply to them as of July 1, 2017 which has a felony punishment and limits their housing options. 

This means any RSO who has been picking up or dropping off their child on the corner of school property or waits for them in the parking lot during soccer, band or cheerleader practice today will be unknowingly committing a felony as of July 1, 2017. Yes, the section for playground, athletic field or gymnasium says "for the purpose of having contact...." but we all know an arrest and an investigation will occur if anyone makes a complaint and that means bail, hiring an attorney and possible loss of employment and the burden to prove what contact was or wasn't being made falls on the Offender, not the State!
 
HB1485 will also mean any RSO who moves to a new apartment or townhome or decides to buy a house after July 1, 2017 needs to know that it can not be within 500ft of a daycare or school property but will have no idea until their VSP Trooper or Compliance Officer comes to their newly registered address to confirm the change and then is told their new home is illegal. 
 

Governor Terry McAuliffe has until midnight on March 28th to take action on HB1485. 

HB1485 must be fixed by Governor McAuliffe and I have come up with 3 options:
·                       Option 1 - Governor McAuliffe vetoes HB1485 because no new criminal law should be applied retroactively based on an old/prior conviction
·                       Option 2 - Governor McAuliffe amends HB1485 by adding a conviction date of July 1, 2017 to all 3 sections
·                       Option 3 - Governor McAuliffe amends HB1485 to require the Virginia State Police notifies all affected RSO’s of this change in VA law in writing via certified mail by June 15, 2017 in easily understandable terms 

Please select one option, or two or all 3 that you prefer and ask Governor McAuliffe NOT to sign HB1485 as it is today…..BUT to veto or amend it which will bounce it back to the Virginia Legislature for the one-day “Reconvene “Veto” Session on Wednesday April 5, 2017 in Richmond, VA. 

Please take 5 minutes today and submit your veto and/or amendment request on HB1485 to Virginia Governor McAuliffe here:

Thank you! 

Mary Devoy