HARRISBURG – Reps. Rob Mercuri (R-Allegheny) and Arvind Venkat (D-Allegheny) have introduced legislation to protect children from assault by preventing sexually violent predators from residing near schools.
“Our children must be protected first and foremost. Rep. Venkat and I are responding to this issue so that we can ensure the safety and peace of mind for all families,” Mercuri said. “By prohibiting these dangerous offenders from residing within a certain distance of any school in the Commonwealth, we can make it that much more difficult for these individuals to strike again. This is a common sense precaution that both sides can agree on, so I am proud to be a leader on this legislation.”
Mercuri’s bill would affect those sentenced for sex crimes and required by the court to register as sex offenders. It would stay in effect after the terms of a sentence are otherwise fulfilled. Venkat introduced a companion bill, which would aim to accomplish the same goal.
“The safety of our children is an issue that cuts across party lines and impacts every community in our Commonwealth,” Venkat said. “I am grateful that Rep. Mercuri is willing to work with me to introduce this legislation, and I look forward to continuing to work with him in the weeks and months ahead to move it forward. I think we can all agree that the safety of our children and their schools is an important issue for everyone, whether that’s in Hampton Township, Philadelphia or anywhere in between.”
“Our communities have made their voices heard on this issue and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the legislature and the Governor’s office to close this loophole in Megan’s Law and reduce the threat to our communities and our children. If this protects even one child, I will consider the initiative to be successful,” Mercuri said.
The bills are expected to be referred to a committee for consideration in the near future.
Representative Rob Mercuri
Representative Arvind Venkat
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Luke Burdsall