Friday, March 20, 2015
Senate Republican Caucus Secures Critical Public Safety Measure in Senate’s Supp Budget
Amendment Requires Sex Offender Board to Update Inefficient Regs
Boston – With the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and Court of Appeals reversing and remanding decisions made by the Sex Offender Registry Board due to inappropriate application of factors used for classification criteria and other actions, the Senate Republican Caucus secured an amendment to a supplemental budget debated during yesterday’s Senate session that would require the agency to revise its regulations within 60 days of the bill’s passage.
Recognizing the immediate threat to public safety of remanded and reversed classifications, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester), Assistant Minority Leader Robert Hedlund (R-Weymouth), Assistant Minority Leader Richard Ross (R-Wrentham), Senate Minority Whip Donald Humason (R-Westfield), Assistant Minority Whip Ryan Fattman (R-Webster) and Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth) the Ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, filed the measure to compel the agency to fix the impermissible regulations. Absent the changes being sought in the amendment, the registry could continue to make classification decisions that are remanded or overturned, resulting in many sex offenders not being required to register until their cases were properly resolved. The changes in regulations sought by the amendment should prevent or minimize that result.
“Public safety depends on timely and accurate classification of sex offenders, and having cases repeatedly overturned undermines those goals,” said Senator Tarr. “Having regulations that can withstand judicial scrutiny will go a long way toward preventing unnecessary delays and disruption of timely classifications and registrations.”
The bill now goes back to the House of Representatives for further consideration.