Sunday, October 13, 2013

Welcome to recycled failed law theater starring Steve Hurst and Kurt Wallace

The Alabama 2014 session is still about three months away but I'm already seeing the rehash of previous bills that failed to pass. I am environmentally conscious and recycle regularly, but some things should never be recycled, such as bad laws that have had multiple defeats.

HB 14: Sex Offender Castration Bill

HB 14: Hurst Crimes and Offenses H Pending Committee Action in House of Origin Judiciary 10/2/2013
Criminal sex offenders over age 21, sex offenses against child 12 years of age or younger, surgical castration required prior to release from custody of Corrections Department

House Bill 14 is very straightforward, of course. Below is the Sponsor's information:

STEVE HURST
State House: Room 627-C
11 S. Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 353-9215
District: 155 Quail Run Road
Munford, AL 36268
Home Phone: (256) 761-1935

VERDICT: It should go without saying ReFORM-AL strongly opposes this bill. 

HB 21: Revised Anti-Cluster Bill

Senator Wallace's recycled "anti-clustering" bill, now known as HB 21, on the other hand, is far more complex. I'd like to think the vastly modified anti-clustering law was at least partially the result of the efforts of ReFORM-AL. This bill is about 12 pages long so I will just summarize the bill:

1. The bill defines a "sex offender cluster" as any property, including a hotel, apartment building, or multi-family unit; and it still bars two or more unrelated registrants from living in the same unit. (Unlike last year's law, the 500 foot residency restriction from other registrants is not in this provision).
2. This bill sets guidelines for the creation and regulation of "large residential sex offender clusters." No registrant or felon can run a facility; the Mental Health Dept. establishes guidelines for facilities, but the sheriff decides who gets licenses; cannot house more than 30 registrants in any one location; the facility must pay a $100 licensing fee + $20 per registrant fee.
3. Repeals the Jefferson County anti-clustering law passed in 2010

VERDICT: Wallace is still motivated by shutting down the facility in his county, and this latest attempt at getting what he wants. His loftier speech is not fooling me. There are a few parts of the bill I can agree with, such as repealing the Jefferson Co. anti-cluster law and some of the standards adoptions are good, but this bill is still a cluster of bad laws. As written, this bill is still bad and this, ReFORM-AL opposes.

Below is the contact info.

REPRESENTATIVE KURT WALLACE

State House: Room 427-J
11 S. Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 242-7772
Home Address:  24 Maple Drive
Maplesville, AL.  36750
Work Phone: (334) 366-4211
Email: representativewallace@gmail.com

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL BECKMAN

State House: Room 427-D
11 S. Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 242-7499

District Address:

1803 Tara Drive
Prattville, AL. 36066

P.O. Box 680155
Prattville, AL.  36068

Home: (334) 361-0977
Work: (334) 834-4808
District: (334) 323-5918
Cell: (334) 300-1780
Fax: (334) 834-4801
Email: paulbeckmanjr@yahoo.com

A visual representation on Alabama's 2014 Legislative Session
Because I want awareness of these laws, I want to keep theis post at the top, so I will include media links to coverage of this bill here:

AL.com on Kurt Wallace's anti-cluster law: http://blog.al.com/wire/2013/10/legislators_want_to_require_li.html

Clanton Advertiser on Wallace's bill:
http://www.clantonadvertiser.com/2013/10/23/sex-offender-bill-pre-filed/comment-page-1/#comment-22713

The Drs TV show discusses the castration law:
 http://www.thedoctorstv.com/videolib/init/9956


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