- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas’ highest-level sex offenders would be barred from living near churches under a proposal passed by the House.

Members voted 75-7 on Tuesday to bar level four sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of churches. Arkansas classifies level four offenders as sexually violent predators, which is the most severe designation by the state.

Sex offenders already living near churches would be grandfathered in under the proposal. It’s currently illegal for sex offenders to live near schools, public parks, youth centers or day cares.

Republican Rep. Charlene Fite of Van Buren says she sponsored the bill after a sex offender in her district traveled through church property before assaulting someone on an adjacent property. She says the state sheriff’s association supports the change.

No one spoke against the bill.

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