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Bill barring sex offenders from school boards gets preliminary approval

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 27 2013 2:22 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill that would bar felons convicted of sex crimes against children from local and state school boards received preliminary approval Wednesday by a 22-2 vote in the Senate.

HB64, sponsored by Sen. Pat Jones, D-Holladay, would only apply to registered sex offenders who have been convicted of a grievous sexual offense.

Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, voted against the bill, saying he believes it sends the wrong message.

"There are methods by which someone who once did something horrific can put their life back together again, that they can be corrected,” Thatcher said. "I'm concerned that we send a message with this that some people are beyond forgiveness and can never recover and can never move on with their lives."

Jones said the bill would prevent people already banned from entering schools from running for a seat on a school board.

"School board members, by duty, have to enter those schools," she said. "And these people cannot enter these schools, so it's quite difficult."

The bill must pass another vote in the Senate before moving to the governor's desk.

Rachel Lowry

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