Legislative Report: Sex Offender Registration Law [AUDIO]
Amending the sex offender registration statute, the sale of land in Grand Teton National Park and the supplemental budget were discussed in the Legislature Monday. Amy Richards has more in Monday's Legislative Report.
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The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill that amends the state's sex offender registration statutes. Committee Chairman Sen. Drew Perkins says House Bill 23 would clarify existing law.
Sen. Drew Perkins, clarifies law:
"It was an interim committee bill, and it just clarified some of the registration requirements for sex offenders, particularly with juveniles who are adjudicated sex offenders, and so they will be registered but they won't be on the public Web site, but they will be registered."
The responsibility for the sex offender registration falls mainly on the county sheriffs. Laramie County Sheriff Danny Glick says they support the bill and the changes.
Sheriff Danny Glick, responsibility:
To where we're taking care of it and we can get all of our eggs in one basket, if you will, to where nothing is being missed, so we've worked these bills in an attempt to get something done, and I think we've done a pretty good job. There will always be more responsibility, but I think if we have it, we can work through it, being that we're responsible for most of it anyway."
The state Senate has passed a bill that would authorize selling state land in Grand Teton National Park to the federal government for $107 million. The money from the sale of more than 2 square miles of land would go into a state fund for public schools and generate millions of dollars a year. The land now generates about $2,000 a year from grazing leases. House Bill 156 passed Monday on a 28-2 vote. It now goes back to the House for consideration of minor changes made by the Senate. The bill's sponsor Teton County Rep. Ruth Ann Petroff says she's pleased the bill passed the Senate and is pleased with the Senate amendment as well.
Rep. Ruth Ann Petroff, amendment:
"I think it's a good amendment. It just essentially gives the board the option to renegotiate if they felt there was the potential to trade for mineral rights or land, or something like that, so I think it just clarifies their authority and, in fact, gives them a little extra flexibility."
Lawmakers in both houses got their first glimpse at the supplemental budget today. The Legislature's Joint Appropriations Committee is calling for 215 million in supplemental general fund spending. The budget contains about 40 million dollars for highways, less than the 50 million recommended by Gov. Matt Mead. Wyoming Contractors Association Spokesman Jonathan Downing says the organization appreciates this short term investment in Wyoming roads and recognize that this will help cushion the blow of an expected 48-million dollar cut in federal funds.
Jonathan Downing, shortage challenge:
"Long term, when we get into next year's budget session, the state's going to have to make some serious decisions as far as what level of investment they make in our roads. Currently, and this was before the federal cuts, we're at a shortage of 134 million a year. You combine that with the federal cuts and this temporary relief, it's going to be a challenge for us."
Lawmakers will continue to work the budget throughout the week. With the Legislative Report, I'm Amy Richards for K2 Radio News.