Legislation that would have given some sex offenders an opportunity to get off the state’s registry has died in the House without an attempt to override its veto.
The sex offender registry language was attached to a bill sponsored by Representative Kevin Engler (R-Farmington). He says there are problems with the registry that must be addressed, but says too many people were not comfortable with the way the bill was written.
He used the opportunity to criticize the Governor for not working with the legislature on the bill during the session.
“We finally got the second floor to admit there is a problem. I would challenge the Governor to work with this body to come up with a bill that we can introduce this December that will address the problem. You need to lead from the front, not from the rear.”
Representative Mike Colona (R-St. Louis City) says he is encouraged that the Governor has reached out to lawmakers about working with them on the issue. He says the registry as it stands denies a second chance to young offenders that is supposed to be afforded by the juvenile justice system.
“You’re no longer moving to reforming. Instead … no rehabilitation … instead it’s more like retribution. You’re telling those kids that they can’t go forward and succeed because their name is always going to be there on that registry for something … for the most part … something stupid that they did years ago. Granted there are some of those egregious crimes but those are the exception more than the rule.”
Some groups that had supported other versions of sex offender registry changes agreed with the Governor in opposing this bill, calling it too broad.