Illinois lawmakers are considering a measure that would tighten sex offender registration laws. A proposal would require sex offenders in Illinois to check in with police more often and register for a longer period of time. It’s an attempt to comply with a federal law that was passed around the anniversary of the abduction of Adam Walsh, the son of America’s Most Wanted TV host John Walsh. Illinois risks losing federal grant money if it doesn’t comply.
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The proposal would create a three-tiered registration system. The most serious offenders would register for life and check in every three months. The least serious would register for 15 years, instead of the current 10, and check in annually. Although opponents say the proposal goes too far, State Sen. Bill Haine (D-Alton) says the punishment fits the crime. “It is harsh and burdensome on people who sexually exploit children,” Haine says. “Who expose themselves to children. Who kidnap children!” State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) says the state would save more if it gave up the grant money and didn’t comply. “You want it … $2 million in grant money you got it. But it costs you $10 million. If it ain’t broke … don’t fix it,” Raoul says. The proposal passed the Senate and is in the House awaiting a committee vote.