Changes to states sex registry approved, sent to governor

By Sen. Joe Hune
22nd Senate District

Michigan is one step closer to complying with the national Adam Walsh Child Safety and Protection Act thanks to legislation approved by state lawmakers and sent to Gov. Rick Snyder.

Senate Bills 188, 189 and 206 create a three-tiered system to differentiate between levels of offenders. The new tiered system will more adequately inform concerned residents which individuals in their community are a real threat.

Under the proposals, offenders convicted of tier three offenses, the most serious, would have to report four times a year and remain on the registry for life. Michigan’s current system groups all offenders together on the same list.

These key measures were approved far ahead of the July 1 deadline. As soon as they are signed by the governor, state law enforcement agencies will no longer be in jeopardy of losing $1.2 million in federal funding.

The reforms also include a change for so-called “Romeo and Juliet” offenses that was not required by federal law.

For example, a 17-year-old boy consensually involved with a 15-year-old girl would no longer be placed on the registry, and those who were can appeal to a judge to have their name removed.

The legislation is supported by the Michigan State Police and Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan.

SB 188, 189 and 206 have been approved by both chambers of the Legislature and now await the governor’s signature. I look forward to seeing them become law.

Sen. Joe Hune is chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. He represents the 22nd state Senate District, which includes Livingston and Shiawassee counties, and the southern part of Ingham County. The Ingham County portion includes Bunkerhill, Leslie, Stockbridge and Vevay townships, and the cities of Leslie and Mason.