|100 Feet = 33.33 Yards|
There’s Good News and there’s Bad News on SB1072-Deeds which will determine the outcome of its Companion HB1485-D.Bell/Lingamfelter/O’Quinn.
Anyone who follows me on Twitter knew on the evening of January 18th about the one amendment to SB1072 but now that I have the time I can post the whole 3 day long story.
On Monday January 16th SB1072 was scheduled to be heard by the Virginia Senate Courts of Justice Committee (as I previously posted about) and it was.
Senator Deeds told the Committee this Bill came at the request of the State Police and a new VSP Representative that I have never seen at the last 8 Virginia General Assembly sessions came forward to speak in favor of the Bill.
VSP Lt. Keenon Hook told the Senate Committee this:
“This Bill addresses what VA already sees as public policy Sex Offenders not having unrestricted access to children.
This Bill also corrects what is NOW an incentive for Offenders who have their convictions in other States move to
27 other States have restrictions and these Child Sex Offenders are able to
relocate to VA to avoid those restrictions… creates an incentive for them to do
so. So this Bill will correct that”. Virginia
This is word-for-word, taken from my audio recording of the hearing.
No amendments or substitutions were submitted by Senator Deeds.
I then stood to oppose the Bill; I was the ONLY person who spoke in opposition. I began raising my concerns the same concerns I had already shared with every Virginia Delegate and Senator via email and via handout delivered to every Legislators office. The Chairman of the Committee Senator Obenshain stopped me twice, first to claim that residency restrictions as policy in VA have already been decided so that isn’t the issue to be debated that day and then he stopped me when I began the point about not conviction date being included so the VSP would apply it retroactively which would result in a n unknown number of current RSO’s residences becoming illegal as of July 1st. The Chairman directed Senator Deeds and Lt. Hook to work with me on a way to ensure that didn’t happen. Then SB1072 was “passed by for the day” to be taken up again at the next Senate Courts of Justice meeting, which was Wednesday January 18th. So I reinterred to Deeds and Hook of to the side of the room not just that issue with the Bill but the second problem of no notification to the RSO’s who’d be required to know about their change in the loitering law as of July 1st.
Later that day via email Lt. Hook sent me an amended Residency restriction proposal that did not add a conviction date of July 1, 2017 but it grandfathered all residences established before July 1, 2017, which was better than nothing. So for the next 2 days I waited to get an answer on my loitering proposal. Neither Lt. Hook nor Senator Deeds responded to me. Luckily I had already scheduled an appointment w/ Deeds the week before for the morning of the 18th but as I expected he wasn’t available to meet so we discussed the second amendment with his Legislative Assistant and I asked her to notify me before the afternoon meeting started if the Senator would or wouldn’t offer the second amendment. I had to follow back up hours later to learn he would not be submitting the amendment so I was going to have to raise the second problem with the Bill to the Committee members when it was reheard during the afternoon docket something I had not been allowed to do on Monday because the Bill had been “passed by”.