Lawmakers blast Paterson for veto of sex offender bill

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO Legislator Kate Browning, Assemblyman Marc Alessi and state Senator Brian Foley blasted Governor Paterson’s veto of a bill that would require Suffolk County social services to tell police where homeless sex offenders live.

Local elected officials are calling on state lawmakers to ovveride
Governor David Paterson’s veto of a bill requiring Suffolk County Social
Services to notify police when a homeless sex offender moves into
temporary housing.
The governor vetoed the bill Sunday.
“We find
ourselves here today totally surprised,” state Senator Brian Foley
(D-Blue Point) said at a press conference outside the Suffolk County
Police Department’s 7th precinct in Shirley. “We were appalled to find
out the governor of the state vetoed this bill.”
Mr. Paterson said
the bill would absolve sex offenders of their duty to report their name
and address to the state’s sex offender registry. Mr. Foley and state
Assemblyman Marc Alessi (D-Shoreham) said the governor’s reasoning is
embedded in false pretenses.
“I don’t agree with the governor’s
assertion that this would alleviate the offender’s duty to report; that
is still intact in the law,” Mr. Alessi said. “This does not take away
the requirement that the offenders have to report themselves.”
The bill passed unanimously in the Senate and was opposed by one member in the Assembly.
Mr. Foley noted repeatedly that the bipartisan support for the bill in a currently polarized Senate speaks to its strength.
Foley and Mr. Alessi, along with other lawmakers, like County
Legislator Kate Browning (WF-Shirley), are calling on other state
lawmakers to override the veto.
“An override will enable our
communities to be safer. It will enable our communities to be better
protected. It will allow the Suffolk Police Department to do a better
job,” Mr. Foley said.
“This is a belt and suspenders approach for making our families safer,” Mr. Alessi said. “Who can ask for better than that?”
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