Social Networking Limits On Sex Offenders Bill Fails In Assembly
The fate of a bill aimed at banning paroled sex offenders from joining social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace was doomed by either partisan politics or economics.
Senate Bill 1204, proposed by Sen. George Runner, was killed by the California Assembly Appropriations Committee refused to pass it out of suspension.
The bill had previously received bipartisan support in the Senate, including from San Francisco Senator Mark Leno. It was also supported by Facebook, Crime Victims United, Junior Leagues of California and law enforcement agencies throughout the state.
“This is a good day for sex offenders and a bad day for our children,” said Runner, a Republican who represents both the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys.
The committee’s refusal to take an extra step to protect our children is further proof that some of California Legislators are out of touch with the community and the rest of the country,” Runner said. “New York – a state known for its liberal politics – was able to pass a similar law last year without opposition or delay."
New York became the first when it passed a similar bill last year, known as “e-Stop, “ which was sponsored by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
Cuomo reported more than 3,500 registered New York sex offenders have been purged from Facebook and Myspace since the bill passed, including a man convicted of assaulting a 14-year-old boy and another man who raped a 2-year-old girl.
Runner authored SB 1204 to create another tool for law enforcement to use in monitoring some of society’s most dangerous sex offenders, like admitted rapist/murder John Albert Gardner.
According to analysis by Assembly Appropriations advisor Jeff Long, law enforcement agencies have the potential to run up costs in the low hundreds of thousands of dollars, for increased duties related to sex offender registration – collecting and updating the online, email and instant messaging addresses of approximately 100,000 registered sex offenders.
Prior to Thursday’s actions, SB1204 passed the Senate Public Safety, Senate Appropriations and was approved on the floor of the Senate.