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Local Leaders Push State for Stronger Sex Offender Laws

Local leaders are urging the state to adopt stronger laws protecting children from sex offenders.

This in response to a New York State Court of Appeals decision in February that ruled that only state law can limit where sex offenders can live.

Officials say the decision invalidated many local laws throughout the state. Statewide, only level 3 sex offenders are prohibited from living within 1,000 feet of a school or park.

That's why some Broome County officials are pushing for a state resolution that would allow local governments to enact their own restrictions, and to extend the residency restriction to all levels of sex offenders.

"The fact of the matter is, a level 1, a level 2, a level 3--it's simply on how egregious their action was. And we want to make sure that kids are protected from all 3 of these levels," said Scott Baker, Broome County Legislator, 2nd District.

"To me, this is a no-brainer, and to me this is a priority that needs to be done as soon as possible. We should never think twice about this. This needs to be passed immediately," said Debbie Preston, Broome County Executive.

The resolution will go before the Public Safety and Emergency Services Committees next week and for a full vote of the New York State Legislature on Thursday, April 16th.