Texas, with the nation’s second-largest sex offender database (63,000 registered) is balking at federal Adam Walsh Act’s requirements, citing unacceptably high costs of implementing the law’s provisions, reports the Houston Chronicle. The legislature has not approved changes, saying the cost for Texas to comply would be $38.8 million, a significant amount with the state facing a budget crisis.
After highly publicized showdowns with the federal government over Texas pollution-control efforts and education funding, the Walsh standoff is yet another issue in Gov. Rick Perry’s ballyhooed war on Washington. If Texas does not comply with the federal mandate by July 26, the state will lose 10 percent of its federal funding under the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant, which provides assistance to crime victims and witnesses. The penalty would amount to an estimated $2.2 million in 2012. The crux of the dispute that Texas’ sexual offender registry is based on risk assessment; the federal law requires registration based on offenses committed.