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      RI bill would prohibit hiring of sex offenders

      Rhode Island lawmakers are set to hear testimony on legislation that would prohibit facilities providing programs and services to children from employing registered sex offenders.

      The House and Senate judiciary committees are scheduled to consider the bills Tuesday.

      The legislation would prohibit the employment of registered offenders whose victims were minors at designated "child safe zones," including schools, libraries, child care facilities and amusements centers.

      Misrepresenting one's sex offender registration status to get hired at a designated facility would be a felony and punishable by up to five years in prison.

      The companion bills are sponsored by Rep. Mia Ackerman and Sen. Stephen Archambault.

      Attorney General Peter Kilmartin calls it alarming that no existing law prohibits sex offenders from working in environments in close proximity to children.

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