Posted on May 23, 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 23 2016 – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today voted for bipartisan legislation that would help states improve tracking of convicted sex offenders and punish people who fail to comply with requirements to register as a sex offender.
“We must do all we can to keep innocent children safe from sexual predators. This bill extends a successful program that has helped Tennessee and other states track convicted sex offenders, and it also provides states with more tools to help keep our children safe,” Alexander said.
The Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act of 2016 makes grants available to states for registering sex offenders and requires state and local governments to check the residences of certain registered sex offenders. The legislation also calls on law enforcement and the U.S. Marshals Service to help locate and arrest sex offenders who do not comply with requirements to register as a sex offender.
The legislation authorizes $162 million over two years for sex offender registration programs under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.
In 2006, the Senate unanimously passed the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act which created a national sex offender registry so that all states could share information. It also created stiffer penalties for child sexual assault and abuse crimes. The bill was named for Adam Walsh, son of America's Most Wanted host John Walsh. Adam was kidnapped and murdered 35 years ago at the age of six.
Since 2006, state law enforcement agencies in Tennessee have received more than $1 million in federal funding as part of the Department of Justice’s Adam Walsh Implementation Grant program. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) received $400,000 in federal funding to help improve the state’s sex offender registry in fiscal year 2015.
Today, the Senate passed the Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act of 2016 by a vote of 89 to 0. On April 14, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the legislation by voice vote.
For access to this release and the senator’s other statements, click here.