Child offender registry restrictions passed

A bill intended to prevent children from mistakenly being registered as child abuse offenders passed May 21.

Introduced by Lincoln Sen. Colby Coash, LB292 prohibits youth ages 11 and younger from being placed on the child abuse offender registry. Only youth ages 12 and older designated as agency- or court- substantiated can be entered into the registry under the bill.

The state Department of Health and Human Services is required to submit an annual report providing the number, ages and classification of youth entered in the registry to the governor and the Legislature’s Health and Human Services and Judiciary committees.

The bill also requires the department to notify court- and agency-substantiated subjects ages 12 to 18 who are entered into the registry that a mandatory expungement hearing has been scheduled. Unless waived, hearings will be conducted within 60 days after the subject receives the notification and within 60 days after the subject’s 19th birthday.

Another provision of the bill, incorporated from Coash’s LB290, removes a requirement that registered sex offenders provide information and report changes regarding their email address list, Internet communication identifiers, domain names and blogs and websites that they write or maintain.

Lawmakers passed the bill on a 46-0 vote.

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