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House Committee Votes Against Sex Offender Board

After sailing through the Senate, a billthat would have created a ‘Sexual Offender Management Board’ hit a wall in the House today.

The bill calls for the creation of a 19-member board that would evaluate policies toward sex offenders.

Advocate Chris Dornin told the House Criminal Justice Committee that laws are often rushed through after a high-profile child murder or molestation.

“What we’re discovering is that some of these laws may not be constitutional,” said Dornin. “They may not be protecting the public.”

Dornin hopes the Board would study best practices around the country, focusing on issues such as how to improve child safety and how to help offenders re-enter society.

But the committee killed the bill on a 15-to-0 vote. Despite receiving bi-partisan support in the Senate, Representative Phil Ginsburg (D-Durham) questioned its necessity.

 “The idea of this Board is a good one, it’s very well-intentioned,” said Ginsburg. “But the Board would duplicate work that is already being done by exiting non-profit organizations, by State agencies, and by legislatures.”

Ginsburg says groups that would be included on the Board, like the ACLU and the Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, already have the ear of lawmakers.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University. He can be reached at tbookman@nhpr.org.
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