Tuesday, March 21, 2017

HB1485: Virginia’s Residency Restrictions and Loitering Laws for Those Listed on the VSP Sex Offender Registry


Well thank goodness; VA Senator Deeds was honest about where 2017’s HB1485/SB1072 actually came from, the Virginia State Police! Unlike Delegate Dickie Bell’s “constituent” claim. 

If you patron a Bill, own where it came from, what the true intent was, what the collateral consequences are and how about who raised the alarm on it's issues.


McAuliffe signs sex offender bill, March 22, 2017
New law expands qualifying offenses

Original Post:

I’m still working on revising the Legislative Goal page, but everyday I wind up working on a post or two because of the revisions I’m making. 

Today I was gathering all the past legislation that has been proposed to expand Virginia’s Residency Restrictions and Loitering Laws since I became a volunteer advocate (the list is at the very bottom) even though I routinely share all the research with those same lawmakers but they continue to propose expansion anyway. 

Now that 2017’s HB1485 has been signed by the Governor McAuliffe and becomes law on July 1st, Delegate Dickie Bell is out touting his “big win” to news outlets, with a press release. 

·         Out-of-state sex offenders get tighter Va. Regulation, March 21, 2017 http://www.newsleader.com/story/news/local/2017/03/21/out--state-sex-offenders-get-tighter-va-regulation/99442372/
·         Governor signs Delegate Bell's House Bill 1485, March 21, 2017
·         Governor McAuliffe Signs Sex Offender Bill, March 21, 2017
·         Governor McAuliffe Signs Sex Offender Bill Patroned by Dickie Bell, March 20, 2017
·         McAuliffe signs sex-offender legislation patroned by Bell, March 20, 2017

So I’ve decided to share more details about where HB1485 came from and what Delegate Bell claimed to know and not know about it when we spoke on the phone back on December 20, 2016. 

Delegate Bell has publically claimed he had a "constituent" who came to him about HB1485. 

Well that’s not totally accurate; the “constituent” was a Virginia State Police Investigator. 

From the phone call on December 20, 2016 Delegate Bell told me the VSP Investigator’s original intent with HB1485 was to ban Registered Sex Offender's from all Virginia libraries because the Investigator told him there was an RSO that was “hanging around” the children’s section of the Bristol library. I then advised Delegate Bell that Virginia’s Loitering law does NOT include libraries, so HB1485 would do nothing to change that situation.  

I then advised Delegate Bell I opposed SB384 back in 2014 that was intended to ban RSO’s from Virginia Libraries which was a request by a Commonwealth’s Attorney in Senator Reeves' district. I advised Bell that in 2014 I opposed SB384 in its original form and in its amended forms because in the end it was a ban and that was ruled unconstitutional by the New Mexico Supreme Court. 

So Delegate Bell then told me the VSP Investigator advised him that Virginia needed to “align with Federal Code” and that HB1485 would get us there. 

I then explained to Delegate Bell that I’m well versed in Federal Code for “Sex Offenders” it’s the Adam Walsh Act 2006 also known as SORNA which does NOT have loitering or residency restriction for “Sex Offenders”. Then that there were some pending Bills in Washington for employment of RSO’s with children, but they had not become Federal law at that point. So on the second claim by the VSP Investigator on what HB1485 would do, he was wrong again, or perhaps he had lied to the Delegate or perhaps the Delegate wasn’t being truthful with me. Which option was it? I had been given  2 reasons for HB1485 that were NOT true and I had to make sure these false claims did not spread as fact in an attempt to get public support or Legislature support for this Bill and any Companion version that may pop up at session.