Thursday, July 30, 2009

Federal Sex Offender Act Poses Issues for WV : Complying with federal sex offenders act poses issues for state.

West Virginia officials are trying to determine if the state is in compliance with a federal act that would result in more stringent listings in the national sex offender registry - or whether it's really worth trying to comply.

West Virginia State Police Sgt. Michael Baylous said the federal act would affect numerous agencies in the state. "At this time the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety has determined that in the interest of providing efficient governmental services it would be counterproductive to comply with the requirements of the Adam Walsh Act," Baylous said.

"This is all retroactive," DeLong said.

States that fail to comply could lose 10 percent of their U.S. Justice Department's Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Program grants, she said. West Virginia's projected share for 2009 was about $2 million, DeLong said. So the state could be out $200,000 if it isn't in compliance.

Compliance will be difficult, said Delegate Bill Wooten, D-Raleigh, a chairman of the joint judiciary subcommittee studying the issue.