Bill to restrict housing options for sex offenders receives public hearing

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 30, 2013

CONTACT: Kurt Hammond, Public Information Officer – (360) 786-7794
                  Rep. Hans Zeiger – (360) 786-7968
                     

Bill co-sponsored by Rep. Zeiger that would restrict housing options for sex offenders receives public hearing

A bill that would place new conditions on the housing voucher program for sex offenders received a public hearing in the House Public Safety Committee on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013.   Rep. Hans Zeiger, R-Puyallup and a co-sponsor of the measure said current law lacks necessary parameters.   “When residents in the Shaw Road neighborhood in Puyallup learned about a potential house for sex offenders last summer it showed us that we need new safeguards,” said Zeiger. “There needs to be better notification provisions and compliance with zoning policies. We must also require a specific distance between facilities that house registered sex offenders and child care facilities and schools so we know our neighborhoods are safe for children.”   Specifically, House Bill 1232 adds five conditions to the housing voucher program for sex offenders:

1. Rules for property owners to notify local governments about intended facilities for sex offenders;

2. Requires facility compliance with local zoning policies and other regulations;

3. A maximum of three registered sex offenders in one location;

4. Department of Corrections notification to local governments regarding the name and risk level of offenders; and

5. Requires distance between facilities that house registered sex offenders, and requires distance from schools and child-care facilities.

A number of residents from Puyallup showed up to testify in favor of the legislation. The committee did not take any action on the bill, but could vote on it in the next few weeks.

The companion bill in the Senate, Senate Bill 5105 sponsored by Sen. Bruce Dammeier, will be heard in the Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee on Thursday, Jan. 31, at 10 a.m. in the Cherberg Building, hearing room 1.

For more information, visit our Web site at: houserepublicans.wa.gov.

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