Governor Tom Vilsack says legislators shouldn’t have been surprised to learn paroled sex offenders wearing electronic bracelets aren’t being monitored in “real time.”
The topic came up last week during a legislative committee’s review of the state’s new sex offender law. “I’m really surprised they were surprised,” Vilsack says. “At the time we were discussing the appropriation for this it was fairly clear that the amount of money (legislators) were dedicating to this would not be adequate to establish a ‘real time’ system and there were a number of legislators who fully appreciated that.”
A law that took effect July 1st requires electronic monitoring of those who’re on parole after serving time for a sex crime against a child, but no sex offender in the state is being monitored in “real time.”
Vilsack says he proposed spending more money to ensure paroled sex offenders could be monitored 24/7, but legislators balked at the price tag. “A real time system would have required two- to three-times the amount of money that (legislators) appropriated,” he says.
Vilsack says if legislators want to spend more, and it is the legislature that drafts spending bills, he’s willing to sign the spending plan into law. Vilsack says if legislators decide in January to make an emergency appropriationg to buy more expensive monitoring equipment, he’ll back the move. “Real time is obviously better than what we have,” Vilsack says.