Budget amendment would create new buffers between sex offenders and children

One of Gov Andrew Cuomo’s 30-day budget amendments would close a loophole in state law that currently allows some sex offenders to live near kindergarten and pre-K schools in New York state. 

The 30-day budget amendment would prohibit level two and level three sex offenders, whose victims were under the age of 13, from being within 1,000 feet of a kindergarten or pre-K school.

The budget amendments would also ban certain sex offenders from living in temporary emergency housing or shelters that house families, and would require the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision obtain a list of schools from the State Department of Education, and distribute that list to probation and parole departments to ensure sex offenders stay away from those locations.

“The safety and well-being of our children is New York’s top priority, and by proposing stricter laws, we will keep our most vulnerable New Yorkers safe,” Cuomo said. “This action will forbid these predators from stepping within 1,000 feet of our schools and help secure neighborhoods across the state, while supporting a better, safer New York for all.”

In 2013, the governor expanded the state’s Sex Offender Registry to include multiple photos of each offender, which are required to be updated every three years for Level 1 and Level 2 offenders, and every year for Level 3 offenders.

In 2016, the Governor directed DOCCS to restrict sex offenders under community supervision from using Pokémon GO and other similar, location-based games.