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      MI sex offender fee changes take effect next month

      The public can search the MI sex offender registry for all published offenders within a specified radius of a home, business, school or other desired address.

      Registered sex offenders in Michigan are required to pay an annual fee starting April 1.

      Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation in November requiring Michigan's more than 40,000 registered sex offenders to pay an annual $50 fee. The new fees are intended to cover the $600,000 a year cost to state police to operate the sex offender database.

      The bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Rick Jones replaces the system under which sex offenders paid a one-time $50 fee.

      The law only applies to registered sex offenders who are out of prison. People who prove that they are indigent can get a fee waiver.

      Snyder says the law brings Michigan in line with neighboring states that require sex offenders to pay for the operating cost of sex offender websites.