A state lawmaker is making good on a promise to repair a flawed system that permits aging and ailing convicted sex offenders to quietly enter long-term care facilities — often unbeknownst to patients and staff — where some easily are finding their next victims.
A bill set to be introduced next week by state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Ambridge, comes in response to a Tribune-Review investigation published last month detailing what experts termed a simmering crisis involving more than 900,000 sex offenders on Megan’s Law registries across the nation.
After learning the details of the newspaper’s investigation, an outraged Matzie vowed to take action on the matter as soon as the General Assembly reconvened at the start of the year.
On Friday, Matzie said his measure — which has drawn widespread, bipartisan support — calls for nursing homes, adult daycare centers and personal care homes to vet new admissions through the state’s Megan’s Law registry, create patient safety plans to protect others from the offenders, and notify staff and residents when convicted sex offenders are admitted.
“The facilities will also report this information to the (state) Department of Health to create and maintain a statewide registry — a Megan’s Law for nursing homes, if you will,” Matzie wrote in a memo to House members seeking co-sponsors for the bill.