PROVIDENCE — House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is objecting to a legal settlement between the state and ACLU of Rhode Island that resolves a fight over the number of homeless sex offenders that can stay at the state's “shelter of last resort” in Cranston at any given time.
In the summer of 2017, the General Assembly passed a law preventing homeless shelters on state property to give more than 10 percent of their beds to registered sex offenders. Primarily affecting the Harrington Hall shelter, the law was supposed to go into effect on Jan. 1 of this year, but a lawsuit from the ACLU, Rhode Island Homeless Advocacy Project and six registered sex offenders convinced Gov. Gina Raimondo's administration to hold off on enforcing it until the legal questions were resolved.
Nearly a year later, the ACLU last week announced a proposed settlement — without any comment from state officials — that would effectively waive the 10-percent limit, as long as shelter managers report the names of all sex offenders staying there to local police and attest that no alternative lodgings could be found. The settlement was approved by U.S District Court Judge William E. Smith on Monday.
But House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, whose district includes Harrington Hall and is among the Cranston lawmakers who have worked to quell constituent concerns about sex offenders concentrating there, is not happy with the settlement.
To view the complete article, visit Providence Journal
Courtesy of Providence Journal