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Montana politics, elections and legislative news.

Lawmakers To Consider Limits On Where Sex Offenders Can Live

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus
/
Montana Public Radio
Montana Capitol

Tuesday at the Montana Legislature, lawmakers hear a bill that would restrict where high-risk sex offenders can live and work.

Republican Representative Jeff Essmann of Billings is carrying House Bill 219, which would ban adult sex offenders at a high risk of re-offending from living or working within 300 feet of a child care facility or a place meant for minors.

Essmann says it’s meant to protect children.

“I would just like to provide some separation between this very small population of high-risk offenders and the schools and playgrounds, parks and day care centers that house our children."

Opponent Niki Zupanic of the American Civil Liberties Union says this could have unintended consequences.

“Isolating offenders in this way and removing them from sound support systems is likely to have a destabilizing effect.”

The bill will be in the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday at 8:00 a.m.

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