2017 Legislative Update

There are two more bills which have been introduced which affect registrants and their families, in addition to HB 38 (which as of this writing, is in the Senate Judiciary Committee).

The new bills, unfortunately, are much broader than HB 38, and you can view the bills here (HB 275) and here (HB 494). They are currently both still in the House Judiciary Committee, and have yet to receive a vote, but it is important for advocates in this area to be aware of them and to contact their state representatives on the Judiciary Committee to try to defeat that.

The bills propose to modify Kentucky’s sex offender registration statutes to impose further restraints, including:

  • Impose new residency restrictions to prohibit those on the registry from sharing the same residence of a minor unless they are a close relative, step-parent, or guardian (unless the minor was a victim of the individual);
  • Impose a new annual $75.00 fee for those on the registry to register with authorities;
  • Reduce the amount of time to register upon moving from five days to three;
  • Requires those on the registry who are planning to travel internationally to provide information regarding the planned travel three weeks ahead of time, and to re-register with authorities within three days on return.

There are a few other minor changes that the bills make, including requiring those on the registry to provide palm prints, however the provisions above are the most onerous.

KYCFR takes the position that these new restrictions do nothing to further the goals of public safety, while at the same time continuing to place new regulations on an unpopular group of people in a one-size-fits all manner.

As of the time of writing, the bills are identical except that 494 does not include the provision regarding the $75.00 annual fee. Also, it is important to note that the new residency restrictions and the fee, at this time, are not proposed to operate retroactively — meaning they will only apply to individuals who become subject to Kentucky’s sex offender registry on or after the effective date that the bills become law.

You can track the bills yourself by signing up for Kentucky’s Bill Watch here. If you are able, please contact any of your representatives on the House Judiciary Committee  and express your opposition to these bills.

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