FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 22, 2023
Hobbs Protects Sex Offenders with Veto of SB 1583
PHOENIX, ARIZONA— Senator Sine Kerr is calling out Governor Katie Hobbs for her harmful veto of a bill requiring sex offenders convicted of dangerous crimes against children to register on the state's sex offender website.
Senator Kerr sponsored SB 1583 (internet sex offender website; offenses) to close a loophole in state law, which currently only requires some offenders who have been convicted of sex crimes against children to be listed on the sex offender website if they are considered at high risk of reoffending. Those who are considered least likely to reoffend, also known as level one offenders, may not be required to be listed on this website. Right now, the Department of Public Safety estimates there are thousands of registered sex offenders who are not listed.
"The lack of understanding from Governor Hobbs is a serious threat to the safety and wellbeing of all Arizona families with children. My bill would have armed parents, schools, churches and community centers with a digital tool of notification, transparency and awareness in order to prevent these offenders currently not listed on the website from further victimizing our kids. Hobbs' veto letter, which she erroneously wrote to the wrong Senator, shows she doesn't have a clue what's going on with sex offender tracking in our state," said Senator Kerr. "Right now, if a parent signs their child up for a sports team, and that coach was convicted of committing a dangerous sex crime against a minor but is not considered likely to reoffend, that coach may not be listed on the website. When the parent searches the site and doesn't see the coach's name pop up, they are given a false sense of security that their child will be in good hands. Protecting our children from sexual victimization should not be a partisan issue, yet all Democrats in the Legislature voted against the bill and our Democrat Governor vetoed it. I will try again next session to fix this loophole in state law so that we stop protecting sex offenders and start protecting children."
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus