By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
It's been nearly 16 years since 7-year-old Megan Kanka was kidnapped, raped, and murdered by a notorious sex offender, but she's still inspiring legislation beyond the 1996 Megan's Law, which helps Americans find out if a registered sex offender is living in their neighborhood. Now, after a four-year fight, GOP Rep. Chris Smith, who represents Kanka's hometown of Hamilton, N.J., has won a major bid to expand Megan's Law overseas. "This is a huge deal," he tells Whispers, of winning Democratic help to bring the legislation to the House floor where he's predicting victory. Under the legislation, foreign governments would be notified by the United States if a convicted sex offender planned travel there. Those governments would also be urged to reciprocate. "We want to build a world-notification web," says Smith.