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Douglas: No Special Session on Sex Offenders - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Douglas: No Special Session on Sex Offenders

Gov. Jim Douglas Gov. Jim Douglas
Sen. Peter Shumlin Sen. Peter Shumlin
Brooke Bennett Brooke Bennett

Montpelier, Vermont - July 21, 2008

Gov. Jim Douglas says he will not call a special legislative session to look at sex offender laws after legislative leaders refused to agree to his package of laws.

Douglas, R-Vermont, met Monday afternoon with Gaye Symington, D-Vt. House Speaker, Sen. Peter Shumlin, D-President Pro Tem, and a handful of legislative leaders in a closed-door session.

Douglas wants lawmakers to agree to a three-part package of civil confinement, an enhanced sex offender registry, and Jessica's law, before he calls a special session. But lawmakers say there needs to be a broader look into what went wrong in the case of Brooke Bennett's alleged abductor before they rush into passing new laws.

"We are torn between the emotion of the moment, our outrage with what happened to Brooke Bennett, and the reality that good legislation isn't written from emotion, it's written from a thoughtful deliberative process," said Shumlin.

"These three ideas are quite comprehensive and they don't need any more time or hearings or process because they've been talked about at great length over the last couple of years. Senator Sears acknowledged that his committee has had lots of testimony on these important topics," said Douglas.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has a series of hearings on this issue scheduled throughout the next month, but it appears no new legislation will be considered until a new legislature convenes next January.

Bianca Slota - WCAX News

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