The Arkansas Senate has given final approval to legislation barring some sex offenders from living near churches.
The Senate voted 27-7 on Tuesday to prohibit level 4 sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet or a church or place of worship. Level 4 sex offenders are the highest category and are considered sexually violent offenders.
The legislation, which now heads to the governor's desk, would not apply to sex offenders living on property they owned prior to the measure taking effect.
Supporters of the measure say the restriction is needed to protect children at churches and other places of worship. Opponents say it could have the opposite effect by putting on the street offenders who are living in family members' homes or in rental property.