Senator Nancy Riley said the State Senate on Thursday took an important step to ensure the protection of our most vulnerable citizens by passing her bill to reform the Sex Offender Registration Act.
“Several recent incidents have brought to light an urgent need for these reforms,” said Riley, R-Tulsa. “The residents in my district have been extremely concerned about this issue and I’m pleased the Senate passed this measure, taking it one step closer to becoming law.”
The bill would strengthen prohibitions relating to where sex offenders are permitted to live. Additionally, the measure provides for greater supervision of sex offenders during the registration process and contains provisions for gathering information relating to occupants where sex offenders reside.
Riley said recent cases in which multiple sex offenders were found living together in Tulsa area neighborhoods have illustrated that current state laws need to be strengthened. She added the bill specifically prohibits the establishment of a group home for the residency of sex offenders in a single or multi-family residential area without the approval of the appropriate governing body.
Riley expressed optimism that the bill would prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.
“There can be no greater responsibility for us as leaders than to provide protection for our most vulnerable citizens,” Riley said. “This bill contains the necessary provisions to ensure the sort of incidents we experienced in the Tulsa area do not happen again, while providing stronger penalties for those who would commit the heinous crime of sexual abuse.”
Having won Senate approval, the bill now advances to the House of Representatives for final approval before reaching the Governor’s office.