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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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S.217

Introduced by   Senator Sears of Bennington District

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Crimes; legislative study; Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to create a legislative committee to examine the legal and fiscal impacts of state compliance with the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 and the fiscal impacts of failure to comply.

AN ACT RELATING TO A LEGISLATIVE STUDY OF THE IMPACTS OF COMPLIANCE WITH THE FEDERAL ADAM WALSH CHILD PROTECTION AND SAFETY ACT OF 2006

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS

The general assembly finds that:

(1)  The national sex offender registration standards were first created by the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Act of 1994.  Vermont adopted a sex offender registry and notification system in 1996 and has amended and expanded these laws seven times in an effort to protect Vermont’s children. 

(2)  Although the states have traditionally had flexibility to shape public policy concerning sex offender registration and notification, Congress recently imposed new requirements on the states with the passage of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (the Act). 

(3)  In comments directed to the U.S. Department of Justice regarding proposed guidelines to interpret and implement the Act, the National Conference of State Legislatures called the guidelines [a] “burdensome,” “preemptive,” “unfunded mandate” for the states, requiring every legislature to undertake an extensive review of its laws as compared to the Act and necessitating changes to state policy traditionally within the purview of the states.

(4)  A comprehensive review of Vermont law is required to determine to what extent Vermont practice currently complies with the Act and what changes would be required, and the cost of such changes, to bring the state into substantial compliance, avoiding a 10-percent reduction to Byrne law enforcement assistance grants to the state.

Sec. 2.  STUDY

(a)  A committee is established to examine the legal and fiscal impacts of state compliance with the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 and the fiscal impact of failure to comply.

(b)  The committee shall consist of:

(1)  two members from the senate committee on judiciary, appointed by the committee on committees;

(2)  two members from the house committee on judiciary, appointed by the speaker of the house;

(3)  two members from the senate committee on appropriations, appointed by the committee on committees;

(4)  two members from the house committee on appropriations, appointed by the speaker of the house;

(5)  one senate member at large, appointed by the committee on committees; and

(6)  one house member at large, appointed by the speaker of the house.

(c)  The committee shall be prepared to advise the committees on judiciary and appropriations on its findings in January 2008.

(d)  The committee shall be authorized to meet three times.  For attendance at a meeting when the general assembly is not in session, legislative members of the committee shall be entitled to compensation for services and reimbursement of expenses as provided under 2 V.S.A. § 406(a).

(e)  The office of legislative council and the joint fiscal office shall provide assistance to the committee.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us