The House will take up SB54 which aims to make some course corrections to SB91 including addressing C-felony penalties, misdemeanor penalties, and violations of conditions of release. The bill addresses sentencing for both first time and repeat offenders by giving prosecutors more latitude to seek jail time. This is an important step, but there are other steps that must be taken as well.
Given that crime rates were on the rise for several years before any part SB91 went into effect we need to be looking more deeply for the root causes.
For me, a
key takeaway from the Uniform Crime Report (See above) is that when the economy is in crisis crime rises.
Other complicating factors are cuts to prosecutors, State Troopers, local law enforcement, and substance addiction treatment.
We can’t fight a growing opioid epidemic and crime if we don’t have the proper tools in place. We must deal with our fiscal situation or we are destined to see crime grow regardless of any other changes we make to the law.
If you want to learn more about how our budget situation has impacted our ability to respond to and prevent crime, I encourage you to tune in to a House Finance budget subcommittee hearing on Thursday. You can attend in person or live stream it at
Staff with the Legislative Finance Division and the Departments of Public Safety, Administration, Corrections, and Law; and leaders in criminal justice and law enforcement in Alaska
House Finance Budget Subcommittees for the Departments of Public Safety, Administration, Corrections, and Law
Anchorage Legislative Information Office, 1500 W. Benson Blvd., 2nd Floor Conference Room
Thursday, October 5, 1:00 p.m. until approximately 5:00 p.m.
I want to assure you that I am deeply concerned about rising crime in Anchorage and Alaska . I will be diligently working on SB54 in preparation for our upcoming Special Session.