Rep. Mike Regan (R-York/Cumberland) has introduced House Bill 1951 which will, if enacted, prevent non-compliant Megan’s Law sex offenders from receiving welfare benefits in Pennsylvania.
“This bill will aid in the prevention of taxpayer dollars going to those sex offenders who do not come into full compliance with the provisions of Megan’s Law,” said Regan. “As a former United States marshal, I have seen these types of violations first-hand as we conducted compliance checks. Sadly, there are a number of violators who receive benefits, and this has to be stopped. I believe this legislation will provide a motivation for compliance and, as a result, help protect our children and community.”
According to Regan, this legislation is designed not only to encourage compliance but to better direct welfare resources to those who are truly in need. Funding for the state Department of Public Welfare is one of the largest expenditures in the state budget.
“We did compliance checks and we found out that many Megan’s Law registrants that we checked on were out of compliance, and also receiving welfare benefits,” said Regan.
The bill so far has gotten a lot of bipartisan support. “Last time we checked there are over 50 co sponsors. Which is about 25% of the house,” said Regan.
Although the details still need to be worked out, if passed, it would be enforced by the State Police Megan’s Law Unit and Department of Public Welfare.
House Bill 1951 is in the House Health Committee for consideration.