Strip (Miners) and Sex (Fiends)

The final round of appropriations bills shot through joint committees March 30, though Rep. Jamie Franks, D-Mooreville, temporarily held some appropriations bills. Franks said he got nervous over an appropriation bill for Fisheries, Wildlife and Parks containing language allowing the agency to sell or lease state parks for private development. The same language had been in state law for nearly three years, but avid hunters and conservationists, like Franks, raised a flag after numerous attempts by parks committee chairs in both the House and Senate at opening some state parks for strip mining and development.

"The problem is that language allows them to do whatever they want to do," Franks said. "It's been in there for years, but we just now really noticed it after they tried to develop the parks."

The Legislature took action on sex offenders. SB 2825 restricts registered sexual offenders to more than 500 feet from a school without permission, while HB 1015 allows quicker access to sex offender information, allowing the public to get internet information on any offender with the keystroke of a query, zip code or geographic or municipal radius.


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