The state of New York can't go wrong with instituting stiffer penalties for sex offenders.

Gov. George Pataki's plan to catalog the DNA of every convict, lengthen prison terms for child molesters and expand the state's sex offender registry is key in keeping our children safer.

"When those who stalk and rape a child can be out on the streets in two or three years, when 5,000 sexually violent predators are currently awaiting release from our state prisons, we owe it to families across New York to waste no more time and to enact these measures now," Pataki told reporters at the Buffalo International Airport last week.

The moves need to be supported and passed through as law, despite the politicking of Democrats and Republicans.

It's unfortunate that the politics of the proposals has to get so ugly.

When you have Speaker Sheldon Silver saying: "Instead of going around the state with their political road show, the governor and the Senate should come back to Albany to work with the Assembly on a tough, effective law that cracks down on sex predators," no one wins.

It might be a pipe dream, but what if the two sides traveled together to carry the message?

Silver says the Assembly has a "coordinated, comprehensive plan" that includes longer sentences, expanded monitoring of sex offenders, civil commitment and improved services for crime victims.

Fine, then both sides have something to offer and should combine to finally pass laws. Unfortunately there are turf wars that hold up the process.

Nevertheless, the proposals are good, solid ones that hopefully will see the light of day. If our police departments are doing their jobs, we should have every policy in place that's necessary to keep sex offenders behind bars for as long as possible.

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