Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-C-I-Lewiston, recently stood alongside a bipartisan coalition of victims' advocates and lawmakers to push for the passage of Brittany's Law, which would create a registry of violent felons in the state. The law is named after Brittany Passalacqua, a 12-year-old girl who was murdered in 2009 by John Edward Brown, a man who was on parole after serving time in prison for assaulting his infant daughter.
The violent felons registry would make information available to the public about people in their community who have violent pasts so they can make informed decisions about who to let into their homes.
"It is with a solemn responsibility to victims of violence that we push for Brittany's Law," Ceretto said. "A violent felons registry would prevent future acts of violence by providing people with information about past violent offenders in their community. This push is about honoring the lives of past victims by preventing potential violence in the future. The bill has already been passed in the State Senate multiple times, and now its time for the Assembly to put public safety first and pass this bill."
Since the murder of Brittany Passalacqua and her mother, Helen Buchel, both of Brittany's grandmothers, Dale Driscoll and Joan Tandle, have pushed state lawmakers to create the violent felons registry. Ceretto said they have demonstrated great resolve in their ability to channel their grief into something that could prevent future violence.
While their efforts have led to passage of Brittany's law in the State Senate, the bill has been stuck in the Assembly.
"For four straight years, Brittany's Law has been passed by the State Senate, but stalled in the Assembly," Ceretto said. "We are long overdue for the leadership of the Assembly to bring this bill to the floor for a vote. Let's put victims, their families, and the safety of our communities first and pass this important legislation."