House Panel Rejects Bill to Prevent Sex Offenders from Living Near Private Parks

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- A House Panel has rejected a bill creating tighter restrictions for where sex offenders can live.

The bill only makes a slight change to existing law, adding private parks as a place in which a sex offender cannot live within 2000 feet.

The idea comes from Northwest Arkansas Rep. Sue Scott, who says there are at least 17 sex offenders in the state that live near a private park, meaning parks within neighborhood subdivisions that are available only for residents who live there.

Scott believed she would easily pick up 11 votes to move it the House floor, instead it picked up only 10.

"I don't understand it, I would have thought this would have been an easy one," Scott says. "I visited with several of them before I presented it, and I thought it was going to pass."

The committee chairman says there were concerns about property transfer problems, and that the representative can bring the idea back up if some changes are made.

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