STOP SEX OFFENDERS | MA: Legislators cut $1.1M in budget for registry of sex offenders.
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MA: Legislators cut $1.1M in budget for registry of sex offenders.

July 20, 2002

by David R. Guarino

State politicians gutted the sex offender registry yesterday, further hampering the backlogged agency a day after the grisly rest-stop murder by a knife-wielding rapist lost in its glacial bureaucracy.

Even as they scurried to file reactionary legislation and pledged to do more to help expedite the public outing of sex offenders, lawmakers sliced $1.1 million targetted for the troubled registry - almost a quarter of its budget.

Unless more money and staff is pumped into the agency, officials said dangerous ex-cons like Paul Leahy could go completely unnoticed for as long as three years - protected by a system crippled with delay.

"This case, this murderer, he's a poster child of why there has to be an active, working sex offender registry," said Anne Dawley, chairwoman of the registry board. "He offended 20 years ago and here he is again, doing it again, and doing something worse."

But, politicians said, the board is suffering like all state agencies and won't get more cash anytime soon - no matter the headlines.

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Source: 2002