Gov. Rell Signs Sen. Witkos’ Bill Requiring School Notification of Released Sex Offenders

July 15, 2009

Law will take effect on September 1st, just in time for the start of the new school year

State Senator Kevin Witkos, R-Canton, today thanked Governor M. Jodi Rell for her leadership following the signing of a bill he sponsored requiring the state Department of Public Safety (DPS) to notify local superintendents of schools with information relating to the release of a convicted sex offender who resides, or intends to reside, in a community where their school is located. With her signature the new law will go into effect on September 1st.

“It is fitting that this new law will go into effect just as the new school year is set to begin, and I thank Gov. Rell for her support of this common sense measure that will ultimately help ensure safety in and around school grounds,” said Sen. Witkos.

SB 533, An Act Concerning Notification of the Release of a Registered Sexual Offender into the Community unanimously passed both the Senate and the House of Representatives. In fact, it was the final bill passed by the House when the 2009 regular session of the General Assembly adjourned on June 3rd. The bill requires the Department of Public Safety to notify the superintendent of schools in the community where a sex offender lives or plans to live whenever the registrant is released. The notice must be made by email and include the same registry information available to the public through the internet. The information must include the registrant’s name, address, date of birth, race, and general description. It must also include the crime he or she committed that and the date he or she was convicted.

“Parents should never have to worry about the safety of their children while they are at school. That is why it is important that we give our local administrators all the tools they need to enhance the security of their schools,” said Sen. Witkos.