District: Bridgton, Harrison, Lovell, Stow and Sweden
Legislative service: Third term
Committees: Criminal Justice and Public Safety, ranking minority member
Bill record: Seven bills, three signed, two carried over, two dead
Tax reform: Against
Bear trapping ban: Against
Washington County slots at a tribal horse track: For
Stiffer seat belt law: Against
Increase term limits from 4 two-year terms to 6: Against
Talks about the sex offender registry and residency restrictions were major issues addressed by the Criminal Justice Committee, where Richard Sykes sat this session.
The committee dealt with the question of who should be on the sex offender registry. On Easter of last year, a man killed two people whose information he found on the registry. The registry, however, does not show much distinction between a 19-year-old having consensual sex with a 16-year-old and a older man brutally raping a toddler.
No change was made this session, but the committee will be working on an idea this summer to create a tiered system on the registry for offenders: Those with the least serious crimes would not be visible to the public, whereas the heinous crimes would have detailed information.
Also over the summer, the committee will work on a bill to deter those convicted of sex crimes against children from having contact with children.
The Criminal Justice Committee will also continue work this year on two bills Sykes sponsored, both by request of the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office, Sykes said. One would strengthen the laws regarding distribution of child pornography, another would strengthen the laws in regard to the insanity plea by juveniles.