A state bill that would have allowed counties and cities to pass ordinances prohibiting where a registrant can be present (such as parks, beaches and libraries) has been stopped! The bill, S.B. 386, was introduced by Senator Correa of Orange County on February 21. The bill was scheduled for a hearing by the Public Safety Committee on April 30, however, the bill has been withdrawn by Senator Correa from further consideration.
California Reform Sex Offender Laws (CA RSOL) lobbied against the bill soon after it was introduced. The lobbying effort included letters to and meetings with members and/or staffers of the Public Safety Committee in March.
“This is a major victory for CA RSOL and more than 100,000 families in the state of California,” stated President Janice Bellucci. “If the bill had passed, ordinances such as those passed in Orange County and more than 300 cities within the state would have become permanent.”
There are several court challenges pending regarding existing presence restrictions affecting registrants and their families. The most closely watched challenge is against the Orange County ordinance, which prohibited all sex offenders from visiting county parks, beaches, and other recreational areas. A three-judge panel of the Orange County Superior Court declared that ordinance to be pre-empted by state law and therefore unenforceable. The panel’s decision is currently on appeal and a decision is expected in June 2013.