Joins with Parents for Megan’s Law in Call for Albany Special Session
Nassau County Presiding Officer Norma L. Gonsalves joined Laura Ahearn, Executive Director of Parents for Megan’s Law, Nassau and Suffolk County Legislators, State Lawmakers and community residents to call upon State representatives to return to Albany for a Special Session to restore the ability of local lawmakers to protect our children from sex offenders.
In February, the highest court in the state, the New York State Court of Appeals, struck down all county residency restrictions preventing local governments from enacting local laws restricting sex offenders. This ruling struck down a Nassau County law that created sex offender residency guidelines that were more stringent than the State’s guidelines.
Nassau County’s local law sought to restrict Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 convicted sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school. Current State law only limits Level 3 convicted sex offenders. Based on the Court of Appeals decision, back in May, Gonsalves called upon the local state representative to make a change at the state level allowing Nassau to make its own restrictions on convicted sex offenders. The State Senate approved a law allowing the counties to create their own, more stringent restrictions, but the Assembly did not take a vote on the bill before the session ended.
“We are anxiously awaiting action of the Assembly and the Governor to restore Nassau’s ability to exert its authority in this area,” said Gonsalves. “Representatives here at the local level know our communities best, and know how to keep them the safest. The state legislation should be approved by the Assembly immediately so Nassau can implement our stricter restrictions on local convicted sex offenders now.”
Laura Ahern pointed out that a Level 3 Wyoming has moved into a house 3 doors away from an elementary school in Dix Hills. “Without further restrictions, this can now happen in Nassau, too,” warned Presiding Officer Gonsalves. “We need the state Assembly to act now.”
Pictured, l to r, are: NYS Assemblyman Andy Raia, Suffolk County Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory, Suffolk Legislator Kate M. Browning, NYS Assemblyman Dean Murray, Nassau Legislator Steve Rhoads, NYS Senator Michael Venditto, Laura Ahearn, Suffolk Legislator Steven Stern, Presiding Officer Gonsalves, NYS Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick, Suffolk Legislator Monica R. Martinez, Suffolk Legislator Sarah Anker, Suffolk Legislator Leslie A. Kennedy, Mastic Beach Mayor Maura P. Spery, and NYS Assemblyman Edward Ra.