A bill to be considered this afternoon by the Senate Judiciary Committee would require offenders listed on the registry to pay $50 each year. Under current law, people pay the $50 fee just once when they are first registered.
Fifty dollars here, fifty dollars there, and pretty soon Michigan is talking about real money.
The change would be a boost to the fund that helps establish, run and enforce the sex offender registry. Current law raises about $160,000 a year through the fees. But if offenders were required to pay fees annually, up to $700,000 a year could be raised, according to an analysis from the Senate Fiscal Agency...
The current fee structure covers only a fraction of the cost of running the sex offender registry. The Senate Fiscal Agency analysis says it costs roughly $1.2 million a year to run the registry at the state level, with $600,000 of that money needed to maintain the database.
If Michigan spends $1.2 million each year to track its 42,000+ registered sex offenders, how much is spent among all fifty states to maintain all fifty registries? And we aren't even touching on what we spend to maintain the national registry.
“It is very important for people to know if somebody is living in their neighborhood who could possibly be a danger to their children or grandchildren,” Jones [the fear-mongering state senator who sponsored this bill] said.Hard to argue with this. It is important for people to know if somebody in the neighborhood could be a danger to children so let me help clarify things for those people who don't know the answer to this question: Yes, there are people in your neighborhood who could be a danger to children and most of these dangerous people are not listed on the sex offender registry. Most sex offenders are first-time offenders and most do not commit another sexual offense.
The new offenders have to come from somewhere else--your family, your neighbors.
If bills like this are enacted, states would have a financial interest in increasing the numbers of sex offenders on the registry...which helps put the final paragraph of the story in perspective:
The measure is separate from a bill approved by the Legislature earlier that would lead to more sex offenders being listed on Michigan’s public online registry. Gov. Rick Snyder announced Tuesday that he has signed that bill into law.More sex offenders means more $50 fees paid but it also means more offenders to track, more GPS monitors to purchase, more officers to check the monitors, more officers to do the monitoring, more staff needed to manage the registration process...leading to a need for even more sex offenders.