W.A.R. wants to congratulate Tim on his hard work and efforts in the state of Vermont! Tim has worked hard at legislative issues this year. Because of his hard work, Tim has managed to get some good news! Here is his summation:
The S.80 story, by Tim Burgess:
In the 2013 biennium freshman Senator John Rodgers from the Essex/Orleans district and his Senate seat mate introduced S.80. The stated purpose of this bill according to the legislative website is to “This bill proposes to require community notification when a registered sex offender, whose information must be posted on the Internet, establishes residence in Vermont, registers an address change, or is released from confinement or supervision.” As a registrant, and advocate in Vermont I think that bills like these are not only discriminatory in nature, but have the potential to encourage vigilantism.
I followed the Senate action taken on the bill and saw that it was assigned to the Senate Judiciary committee. The bill was taken up a number of times for discussion in committee. I sat in on most, if not all of the testimony. I sat down with Senator Rodgers, and explained how this bill would be detrimental to registered citizens in our State. I spoke with the chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, and discussed that I thought that the bill could pose a risk to registrants in Vermont. Senator Sears, assured me that the bill would not move for the 2013 session due to a hang up with the Auditor of Accounts office. I then spoke to them to find out that based on an audit from 2009, there were a “significant” amount of issues with the Vermont registry, and that until those problems were resolved the legislature could not move forward. I spoke to the director of the Vermont ACLU, Alan Gilbert, who opposed the legislation and testified to that fact. In 2013, the legislation didn’t move.
2014 Session brought the subject around again. Again, I inquired from Senator Sears (Chair of Senate Judiciary), as to the possibility of movement. Senator Sears indicated that it was not a priority, as the Auditors office had not made enough progress on the matter. I followed up with the Auditors office and was informed that it would be June of 2014, before they had the required information. I then emailed Senator Starr, senior senator from the district, who informed me that the bill would most likely fail to make the crossover deadline, and would most likely “be dead”.