Today, state Rep. Mike Sanders praised Gov. Mary Fallin for signing a bill to protect Oklahoma’s children.
Sanders authored House Bill 3049 after learning that state law does not prohibit a sex offender from living with a minor child. This legislation bans sex offenders who previously abused a child from living with minors.
“A convicted sex offender was living with a minor in my district and I was told that it was not technically illegal,” said Sanders, R-Kingfisher. “I couldn’t have been more surprised. It seems illogical to me that sex offenders cannot reside near schools, yet they can live with a minor child. It’s time to fix this loophole and I was proud to see it win the support of our lawmakers.”
Sanders said the new law will complement Department of Human Services reforms to make the state safer for children.
“It’s heartbreaking to hear the story of a child’s death or suffering and to know that there were ways that it could have been prevented,” Sanders said. “I thank Governor Fallin for her support on this legislation.”
The final version states that it shall be unlawful for any person who is required to register pursuant to the Sex Offenders Registration Act for any offense in which a minor child was the victim to reside with a minor child or establish any other living accommodation where a minor child resides.
However, the person may reside with a minor child if the person is the parent, stepparent or grandparent of the minor child and the minor child was not the victim of the offense for which the person is required to register.