Contact: Josh Hills, 518-455-3756
For Immediate Release:
Monday, January 09, 2006

Assembly Minority Forces Vote on Real Megan's Law
Win Victory for Conference Committee on the Issue

New York State Assembly Minority members were planning to force a vote today by introducing an amendment on what they called the real Megan's Law, saying Speaker Silver's proposed one-year extension of the law is inadequate.

Megan's Law was a landmark piece of legislation when it was enacted 10 years ago creating New York State's Sex Offender Registry allowing families to know if there are sex offenders living in their neighborhoods. On January 21, of this year, the law is set to expire.

Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco (R,C,I - Saratoga, Schenectady counties) said there is very strong support throughout the state for not only extending Megan's Law but requiring lifetime registration for sex offenders.

"There is very strong support among families and law enforcement for the lifetime registration and there is even bi-partisan support here in the State Legislature but Speaker Silver only wants to do a one-year extension while we wait for congress to act with federal legislation," said Tedisco. "It doesn't make any sense to wait for congress when it comes to the safety and well-being of our children. This is what we are elected for, to lead."

Tedisco also said Silver's position was inconsistent with past statements regarding "taking the lead from Congress" and cited a March 5, 2004 article in the Albany Times Union where Silver, in speaking about a minimum wage hike, proclaimed - "It's foolish to wait for Washington to do anything."

"I agreed with the Speaker then but I don't know why he is waiting on Washington now. A minimum wage increase was important but nothing is more important than protecting our children from pedophiles and sexual predators," said Tedisco.

Silver announced today that if his one-year extension wasn't supported in the State Senate then he would call for convening a conference committee to reconcile.

"I'm pleased that he has taken this step but the let's see what comes of it," said Tedisco. "The fact is that he has dragged his feet for far too long. We are not going to wait any longer. We will continue to press."

Tedisco said his conference's first goal regarding sex crimes is to pass lifetime registration of sex offenders prior to the January 21 expiration date of Megan's Law and then to push for other measures designed to combat sex crimes of children, including the civil confinement of pedophiles.

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