Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

June 14, 2013

GOP officials goad assemblyman to pass law


Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — North Tonawanda and Niagara County established stricter regulations over the past six years regarding how far away certain sex offenders should stay from children’s gathering places. Both municipalities’ local laws have been subjected to legal challenges.

Niagara County enacted a law in 2008 prohibiting Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders from residing or loitering within 1,000 feet of schools and similar locales. One legal challenge is still ongoing.

Maziarz authored another bill — and got it passed by the Senate late — in which the state would authorize Niagara County only to impose a “safety zone” of 1,500 feet around schools and child care facilities and keep Level 2 and Level 3-registered sex offenders out of them permanently. That bill was referred to the Assembly, where no member has agreed to sponsor it.

North Tonawanda’s local law, which orders a 1,250 foot safety zone around children’s gathering places and applies to registered sex offenders of all levels, has gotten it sued as well.

Schimminger’s bill references North Tonawanda’s 2007 law.

Ortt said he thinks Schimminger, given the senior status he has as a 36-year member, ought to be able to get that bill out of committee and onto the floor for an Assembly vote by next week.

“All we’re asking him to do is get one member of the Assembly to vote for this legislation for each of his years in Albany,” he said. “Along with the 42 Republicans in the Assembly who’ve vowed to support the bill, the passage of this critically important legislation would be a done deal and we’d all feel a whole lot safer.”

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