FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 05/22/2013
Burkett Passes Public Safety Bill to Protect Group Home Residents
(AUSTIN, TX) - The Texas Legislature approved H.B. 424 by Representative Cindy Burkett (Sunnyvale), legislation that will protect group home residents by requiring the group home to notify their residents about registered sex offenders.
"Some of the most vulnerable citizens reside in group homes and it is the state's obligation to ensure that this population remains safe."
Under this bill, the director of a group home is to refer to the sex offender database maintained by the Department of Public Safety to verify that potential residents' status. If the director finds that the resident is a registered sex offender, the director is required to provide notice to the current residents or residents' legal guardian that the newly admitted resident status.
Texas law already requires the state to inform area-residents of the presence of sex offenders in certain situations, but current law does not extend to the notification of other patients in shared space living situation. The passage of this bill simply extends this same requirement to those in group housing facilities.