AUSTIN - An online registry of convicted sex offenders in Texas would no longer include employer information under a bill inching closer to Gov. Rick Perry's desk.
The House on Monday night gave tentative approval to what advocates say would mark a minor but extraordinary softening of the state's sex offender laws.
More than 72,000 convicted sex offenders are registered in Texas. Supporters of the bill say keeping employer details on the public database intimidates companies from hiring offenders, thereby impeding their rehabilitation into society.
Businesses group leaders were among those backing the measure. They told lawmakers their bottom line suffers when the public discovers who's on the payroll.
The bill needs to clear a final, procedural House vote before being sent to Perry.