Senator will not pursue sex offender registry amendment

Dec 29, 2021, 4:26 PM | Updated: Jan 6, 2022, 4:55 pm
Utah 2022 legislative session...
Aerial view of the Utah State Capitol. Photo: Ravell Call, Deseret News, KSL-TV Chopper 5

Editorial note: This story has been edited from its original version to clarify that Sen. Kennedy no longer plans to pursue this bill after listening to constituents and stakeholders in October. When KSL reached out to Kennedy about the bill in December upon its republishing, a legislative formality, he indicated he could not speak at that time but did not say he no longer intended to pursue the bill. We have since learned that is the case. We apologize for any confusion. 

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill that would have proposed changes to the Sex Offender Registry in Utah will not move forward in the 2022 legislative session after all. 

Sen. Michael Kennedy, R-Alpine, initially filed SB0052 late in 2021. It would have potentially allowed registered sex offenders to go to places like schools and parks, if they are with an adult. The bill would also have replaced the term “sex offender” with registrant.

In a statement provided by a spokesperson, Kennedy told KSL he no longer plans to pursue that bill after discovering flaws in the bill in an early committee hearing. 

I will always listen to my constituents and ensure their voices are heard while standing for law and order to ensure criminals are held accountable and victims are protected. This legislation was brought to me by concerned constituents and I allowed the bill to be made public well before the legislative session. In addition, I had it brought on October 20th to the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee for the public and stakeholders to weigh in and so I could understand more fully the potential implications of what my constituents were asking for. The bill’s numerous failings were glaringly brought to light in October, and I resolved at that point not to move forward. The bill being given a formal number and being republished on the legislative website in the middle of December happens automatically through a formality and this bill is already dead in my eyes.

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Senator will not pursue sex offender registry amendment