NJ sex offender residency rules advance

    A bill to allow New Jersey towns to restrict where convicted sex offenders can live after they’ve been released from prison is headed to the governor’s desk.

    The measure would allow towns to pass ordinances barring sex offenders who’ve committed a crime against a minor from living within 500 feet of a school, playground or child care center. But towns wouldn’t be permitted to create rules that would completely shut them out.

    The bill was approved unanimously by the state Senate yesterday. The Assembly passed it last year.

    The law is a reaction to a 2009 state Supreme Court ruling that found problems with some local ordinances that barred sex offenders from living near places where children congregate. The court said statewide guidelines were needed.

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