Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ohio House Passes Bill That Creates Statewide Arson Registry

COLUMBUS—The Ohio House of Representatives today passed Senate Bill 70, legislation that creates a statewide registry for arsonists. Among other things, the bill requires people convicted of arson, including out-of-state, to register with the sheriff in the county of the offender’s residence.

“Senate Bill 70 will provide law enforcement officials with more resources to monitor convicted arsonists whom are often repeat offenders,” said State Representative Danny Bubp (R-West Union), who carried the bill in the House. “With the passing of this legislation, we will potentially save more lives and reduce the damage to personal property, public buildings, forests and farmland. We are sending a clear message to arsonists that we will not tolerate this serious crime.”

Each registered offender will be required to reregister annually, in person, within 10 days of the anniversary of the offender’s initial registration date. Additionally, the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, or BCII, will establish and maintain a Registry of Arson Offenders and Out-of-State Arson Offenders. It will be maintained for public safety purposes and is not a public record.

The registry will be funded by registration fees collected from offenders, equaling $50 initially and an annual reregistration fee of $25 from each offender or out-of-state arson offender. Offenders who are indigent will be waived of the fee.

The bill passed the House 89-2 and will now be sent to the governor’s office.