Once again, and as expected, politics rules the day when it comes to sex offender policy in the Legislature. A planned re-write of sex offender laws to curtail excessive residency restrictions on where sex offenders live live - restrictions that research shows don't work - didn't didn't make it in the final version approved unanimously in the House on Thursday.
Sponsored by Plant City Republican Rich Glorioso, the legislation creates a so-called "circle of safety" that forbids sex offenders from loitering within 300 feet of schools, parks and other facilities where children congregate. It won support after no debate and only one question. "It's a tough bill to vote against," said Rep. Keith Fitzgerald, D-Sarasota. A similar bill in moving swiftly in the Senate, though some of the controversial provisions remain.