Bill puts new curbs on sex offenders
Concern about the nature of folks living in a group home – including the possibility that they could have been convicted of sex crimes – led to public outcry against the establishment of one of the facilities in Glendora several years ago, said Councilman Doug Tessitor. “I think if this bill makes it harder for sex offenders to live in the area, it is a good thing,” said Tessitor, whose city is part of Adams’ 59th Assembly District. The bill only allows cities to regulate sex offender residents in single-family, registered group homes, said Adams. Apartments with large concentrations of sex offenders would be exempted from the law. “People already complain about these group homes, which also house other offenders,” said El Monte Councilwoman Emily Ishigaki, who expressed support for Adams’ bill. But she was disappointed that the law would not target apartment complexes. One complex in El Monte, on the 9400 block of Garvey Avenue, houses 11 registered sex offenders, according to the Megan’s Law Web site. “Personally I would not want them anywhere around us, but this bill would certainly help,” Ishigaki said. AB 370 passed the Assembly’s Committee on Human Services Tuesday and will be heard in the Public Safety Committee on May 8. It would then have to make it past the Appropriations Committee before reaching the Assembly floor for a full vote. The bill follows a spate of state and local legislation targeting sex offenders, a trend triggered by the passage of Proposition 83, also known as Jessica’s Law, last November. Baldwin Park took advantage of Jessica’s Law provisions to expand a 2,000-foot buffer zone for sex offenders around parks and schools to include day care facilities, restaurant playgrounds and other places where children regularly gather. West Covina passed a similar law last month. Some critics of the new laws say the restrictions will force registered sex offenders to go underground, making them harder to track, and that they are being forced into less populated rural communities. An e-mail sent to the Californians Against Proposition 83 Web site was not returned Friday. [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2306160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Sex offenders are finding it increasingly difficult to find places to live these days, and a new bill introduced by a local assemblyman aims to make it even harder. Assembly Bill 370, by Assemblyman Anthony Adams, R-Claremont, allows cities and counties to restrict the number of sex offenders living in group homes to a single individual, down from the maximum six allowed by current state law. “This bill preserves the integrity of group homes, which provide an incredibly important service for our communities by providing care for the disabled and elderly,” said Adams, who said the bill was triggered by complaints from Apple Valley residents about group homes in that community. “By being overpopulated by sex offenders, group homes tend to be opposed by people on that basis,” Adams said.