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Pennsylvania Legislation Attempts to Close Megan's Law Loopholes

New reporting requirements and stricter penalties enhance Megan's Law to comply with Federal Adam Walsh Act

Senate Bill 1183 is awaiting the governor's signature and will bring Pennsylvania into compliance with the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 and close the Megan's Law loopholes will be signed by the governor.

The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act is a federal law that was developed in order to ensure every state has the same set of comprehensive standards that strengthen the nationwide network of sex offender registration and notification programs.

Senate Bill 1183 addresses reporting requirements for sexual offenders. It updates and replaces Megan's Law and includes very strict reporting requirements under the Adam Walsh Act. Sexual offenders must report a change not only of address, place of employment and attendance in school, but also change of phone number and change of email address. In addition, sexual offenders must provide the location of any place they will stay when away from their residence for seven or more days and they must provide a 21-day advance notice of international travel. In accordance with the Adam Walsh Act, the bill requires a sexual offender to report in-person at an approved registration site with respect to this information.

This legislation will also change and significantly strengthen Pennsylvania's existing Megan's Law, which will remain in effect for one more year until the more stringent Adam Walsh provisions go into effect. It includes the requirement for sex offenders who are homelessto register every 30 days with the Pennsylvania State Police as transients, and for registration of out-of-state sexual offenders who must register for a lifetime in their home states but subsequently move to Pennsylvania. These provisions were necessary to close loopholes under current law which had been exposed by recent appellate court decisions.

If you are subject to Megan's Law reporting requirements, do not wait until you've failed to comply, contact an experienced attorney at Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC.