Northam vetoes bills related to sex offenders in shelters

Virginia Politics
Ralph Northam_1553179469120

STERLING, VA – NOVEMBER 03: Virginia Democratic candidate for governor, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, campaigns at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society following Friday prayers November 3, 2017 in Sterling, Virginia. Virginia will elect the next governor of the state next Tuesday, November 7. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has vetoed legislation that would allow officials to temporarily block convicted sex offenders from using emergency shelters.

Northam said Tuesday it is “unconscionable” that people could be turned away from shelters during hurricanes, flash floods or other emergencies.

The legislation would have allowed shelter officials to deny entrance for convicted sex offenders for however long was “necessary to ensure the safety of other individuals” admitted to the shelter.

The legislation would have also required convicted sex offenders to declare they are registered offenders after arriving at an emergency shelter.

Northam said he’s directing state officials and encouraging local officials to formulate plans about how best to shelter “all members of our communities” during emergencies.

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