State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley, introduced two bills that have been approved by the Assembly Committee on Public Safety, according to a news release from Wilk’s office. Senate Bill 1198 seeks to improve the state’s ability to identify and manage high-risk repeat sex offenders by establishing a mandate for sponsoring research that will become the foundation for evidence based laws. The bill will also work to expand the California Sex Offender Management Board by adding two additional members with expertise in juvenile sex offending in order to review and make recommendations of the best practices and policies in the management of juveniles who commit sexual offences. “Keeping communities safe is the top priority of government,” said Wilk. “SB 1198 will ensure juvenile offenders are appropriately managed once released back into our communities. Including board members with expertise with juvenile sex offenders will give us the best foundation for protecting families and children from victimization.” Wilk’s other bill, SB 1409, attempts to update current laws to make the produce and cultivation of industrial hemp in California more streamlined. It will also allow farmers to grow and produce non-intoxicating hemp seed, oil, fiber and extract for commercial and industrial uses. According to the press release, industrial hemp offers economic benefits and is a natural fit for California’s climate. In Antelope Valley, where alfalfa is the top agricultural crop according to the news release, farmers could save five acre-feet of water per acre if the switch from alfalfa to hemp is made. With the state sticking to its water conservation policies, in order to reduce the risks of low rain seasons, the savings made by this swap could be important to the farming community and the people living in California, according to the news release. “Water allocations to farmers in the Antelope Valley are being cut by 44% over the next five years,” Wilk said. “Industrial hemp, which requires very little water, will breathe new life into our local economy. It can be used in thousands of different products from paper and concrete to biomass. Cultivating it here is a great opportunity to bring new investors and mortgage paying manufacturing jobs to the Antelope Valley.” The above information was obtained by The Signal via a news release from the office of State Senator Scott Wilk.