Friday, February 14, 2014

Update on SB 297, the "blanket ban" bill: First Substitution Offered offers more reasonable bill

I cannot say for certain that ReFORM-AL's call to action had anything to do with this latest development, but there was a great substitution made for SB 297. As it was originally written (as stated in my previous article), the language of SB 297 made it illegal for registrants with offenses involving a minor from even being within 500 feet for any reason. But now there is a big substitution of the bill, which ReFORM-AL finds more reasonable than the original version.

Before I add the text of the substitution, I wish to thank Will B from SOSEN and Dolley & James Madison from Ohio RSOL, as well as anyone else who took the time to write our Alabama legislators, for helping to bring about awareness of the perils of SB 297.

This is no guarantee the substitution will stand, but at least it is on the table. I have no issues with the substitute bill, personally, though I am sure my readers could tell me of any potential problems. I think the "field trip" provision is also an issue that must be addressed. After all, who posts field trips

I will only add the section of importance. It seems many Alabama bills always add sections on expenditures and the section that it will take effect once signed into law. No need to read that part. By the way, for those who don't read bills, when a bill is read, they tend to rewrite the code to show how the Code of Alabama will read once the bill passes. Underlined sections means that is the parts to be added, and lines mean this is what to be removed or stricken from the book. I added the bill synopsis for those who just want the short version.

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SYNOPSIS: Under existing law, it is a Class C felony for an adult sex offender who has been convicted of a sex offense involving a minor to loiter on or within 500 feet of school property or certain other property used for caring for, educating, or entertaining minors, without a legitimate purpose for being on the property. This bill would also make it a Class C felony for an adult sex offender, after having been convicted of a sex offense involving a minor, to enter onto the property of a K-12 school while school is in session or attend any K-12 school activity without first notifying and reporting to the principal and complying with school rules regarding the visit.


BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:

Section 1. Section 15-20A-17 of the Code of Alabama 1975, is amended to read as follows:

 "§15-20A-17. "

(a)(1) No adult sex offender, after having been convicted of a sex offense involving a minor, shall loiter on or within 500 feet of the property line of any property on which there is a school, childcare facility, playground, park, athletic field or facility, school bus stop, college or university, or any other business or facility having a principal purpose of caring for, educating, or entertaining minors. 
(b)(2) Under this section subsection, loiter means to enter or remain on property while having no legitimate purpose or, if a legitimate purpose exists, remaining on that property beyond the time necessary to fulfill that purpose. An adult sex offender does not violate this section subsection unless he or she has first been asked to leave a prohibited location by a person authorized to exclude the adult sex offender from the premises. An authorized person includes, but is not limited to, any law enforcement officer, security officer, any owner or manager of the premises, a principal, teacher, or school bus driver if the premises is a school, childcare facility, or bus stop, a coach, if the premises is an athletic field or facility, or any person designated with that authority. 
(c)(3) For purposes of this section subsection, a school bus stop is any location where a motor vehicle owned or operated by or on behalf of a public or private school stops on a regular basis for the purpose of transporting children to and from school.
(b)(1) No adult sex offender, after having been convicted of a sex offense involving a minor, shall enter onto the property of a K-12 school while school is in session or attend any K-12 school activity unless the adult sex offender does all of the following:
a. Notifies the principal of the school, or his or her designee, before entering onto the property or attending the K-12 school activity.
b. Immediately reports to the principal of the school, or his or her designee, upon entering the property or arriving at the K-12 school activity. 
c. Complies with any procedures established by the school to monitor the whereabouts of the sex offender for the duration of his or her presence on the school property or attendance at the K-12 school activity. For a public K-12 school, the local school board shall adopt a policy to effectuate this section.
(2) Procedures established to effectuate this subsection are limited to rules that allow the principal of the school, or his or her designee, to discreetly monitor the adult sex offender.
(3) For the purposes of this subsection, a K-12 school activity is an activity sponsored by a school in which students in grades K-12 are the primary intended participants or for whom students in grades K-12 are the primary intended audience including, but not limited to, school instructional time, after school care, after school tutoring, athletic events, field trips, school plays, or assemblies.
(d)(c) Any person who violates this section subsection (a) or subsection (b) shall be guilty of a Class C felony."

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