For Immediate Release
AUGUSTA - State Representative Joyce Maker (R-Calais) has introduced a bill to require that those convicted as sex offenders in foreign courts be required to register as a sex offender in Maine. However, the bill was denied along party lines by the Legislative Council, the panel of six Democratic and four Republican leaders in the state legislature which screens bills submitted.
Bills submitted for consideration in the second session of the legislature, which runs from January through April, must be of an emergency nature. Rep. Maker will have an opportunity to appeal the Council's decision later in November and is asking supporters of the bill to contact the offices of the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House to voice their support.
"I introduced this proposal after being contacted by a Department of Homeland Security agent stationed at U.S.-Canada border crossing in Calais," said Rep. Maker. "He told me that an American convicted of sexual assault of a child under 16 in Canada was being deported back to the U.S. but that state law enforcement agencies were not authorized to place him on the registry because his conviction occurred outside the country."
Rep. Maker inquired with the Maine Attorney General's Office about the possibility of placing the individual on the Sex Offender Registry.
"The Attorney General's Office said it would require legislative action to change the law, so I introduced this bill," said Rep. Maker. "This is absolutely an emergency situation and I intend to argue that point before the Legislative Council. A convicted sex offender is about to settle in a neighborhood in Maine and the parents and children of that neighborhood won't be protected by the safety precautions established by the Sex Offender Registry."
The bill is LR 2263, "An Act To Improve the Maine Sex Offender Registry."
"With a loud enough voice from concerned citizens, we can get this important measure passed for the safety of all Maine children," added Rep. Maker.
The Senate President's Office can be reached at (207) 287-1500 and the House Speaker's Office can be reached at (207) 287-1300.
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 205-7793