House okays bill that would ban communities from limiting where sex offenders can live
House Bill 1237 would align state law with two court cases that found local ordinances restricting where sex offenders could live unconstitutional: one in Dover and the other in Franklin.
But opponents say people deserve to know who is living in their neighborhoods or near the schools where they send their children.
But bill supporters said safe guards exist because the sex offender registry includes the names and addresses of those who are required to register.
Currently, 12 New Hampshire communities have ordinances restricting where sex offenders live, including several barring them from their borders.
During debate on the bill, Rep. Al Baldasaro, D-Londonderry, told of a sex offender who moved into a neighborhood in his community near a school.
“Once a sex offender moves in, it shut down the whole neighborhood,” Baldasaro said. “More and more sex offenders are moving into our state.”
“If you make it so there is no place for sex offenders to go,” Cushing said, “they will live under bridges so the thing you don’t want to happen, happens.”
“If Manchester outlaws sex offenders from living in that community, they’ll sleep under bridges or in winter rentals in Hampton Beach,” Cushing said.
The bill now goes to the Senate.