Schenectady County Legislature makes changes to sex offender law

"Our town supervisors wanted to be a part of this process, now they are," said Savage.

Local leaders criticized the original law because they felt the residency restrictions protected only the city against post-release sex offenders. As the Oct. 1 deadline to move loomed, the concern among supervisors like Quinn was that these individuals would be forced to move to communities surrounding the city.

Gary Hughes, D-Schenectady, said he feels, despite criticism received, including from the New York Civil Liberties Union, he thinks the 2,000-feet rule will help bring a sense of security to parents.

"We know this not a cure-all prevention, but we feel, as well as those in neighboring counties, that it aids in cutting down on access to children," said Hughes.

The legislature voted 12-to-2 against requiring current residents to move. Savage and Minority Leader Robert Farley, R-Glenville, voted against the change.

Residents of Scotia had lobbied Farley to vote against the measure in their effort to force a level three sex offender to leave the village neighborhood he moved into over the winter. After the original law, with the relocation requirement, was passed in June, many Washington Road residents rejoiced.

The reworked law goes into effect immediately. Lawmakers hope to have the law finalized, with possible additions and adaptations, by the end of November.


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