State Sen. Pam Helming

State Sen. Pam Helming

Provided

A bill sponsored by state Sen. Pam Helming would increase the penalty for sex offenders who fail to register or update their registration with the state. 

Helming's bill, S3030, has been introduced in previous legislative sessions. The state Senate has passed the measure, but it hasn't been considered by the Assembly. 

According to the bill's justification, law enforcement agencies have found sex offenders are either failing to register or update their registrations. The current penalty for failing to register as a sex offender is a class A misdemeanor. 

Under Helming's legislation, the charge would be elevated to a class D felony. 

"With this increased penalty, the police agencies feel that the provisions of the Sex Offender Registration Act will be followed," the bill's justification reads. "This will help the general public to know the whereabouts of sex offenders in their area." 

The measure is one of the first sponsored by Helming, R-Canandaigua, since she was sworn in as the 54th Senate District's representative earlier this month. But it's not the only bill she's introduced targeting sex offenders. 

A separate bill she's sponsored would prohibit sex offenders from living within 1,350 feet of a school. The exception would be for New York City, where sex offenders would be banned from living within 500 feet of a school. 

Sex offenders who violate the proposed law would be charged with a class C felony. 

Like the bill that would impose tougher penalties on sex offenders who fail to register, the measure banning sex offenders from living within a certain distance of schools has been introduced before. But it hasn't garnered enough support in the Assembly. 

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