Legislators OK sex offender law

Gordon called for legislators to strengthen the law that would piggyback state legislation in the pipeline.

Legislator Paulette Barlette (R-Latham) called out state legislatures for their lack of action in passing similar laws on the state level and leaving the protection of women and children to local and county municipalities, she said.

Barlette, who recently announced she would be seeking Reilly's 109th Assembly District in next year's elections, directed comments at the Democratic majority of the state Assembly and, specifically, to Assemblyman Bob Reilly (D-Latham).

"I applaud my colleagues in the Albany County Legislature for their leadership in protecting children from violent sex offenders," Barlette said. "Unfortunately, this common sense public safety legislation has been bottled up by Assemblyman Bob Reilly and his assembly majority colleagues."

According to Reilly, that is not the case.

"The Assembly and Senate have done a lot. While there is more to be done, there are certain considerations," Reilly said.

It was the Senate, and not the Assembly, that held up a recent bill in the Legislature, he said. Before the session's close, the Senate refused to come to the table on an Assembly bill seeking civil confinement of violent sex offenders " mostly to mental hospitals " upon prison release. Except for seeking legislation on the state's most violent sex offenders, New York legislators aren't going to implement legislation beyond what Albany and other counties can already do, he said.

The task of protecting children has rested solely on the shoulders of county agencies, Reilly said. Instead, it is an issue that federal, state, county and municipal governments are all focusing on, and should do so collaboratively, he said. It is a bit more complicated than just telling sex offenders where they can or can't live.

Reilly noted the concerns Gordon reiterated at the passing of the county legislation last Monday.

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