Special Session Update
Here in Juneau, the focus has been on continued work on Senate Bill 54 (SB 54), the crime bill. Last night, the House Finance Committee finished their amendment process, and included in the new draft of the bill provisions to increase sentencing and monitoring of sex offenders, lower the felony theft threshold (now thefts of over $750 become felonies), add caseload caps for probation and parole officers, and more. This weekend, all members of the House will have opportunities to discuss and offer further changes to the bill on the House floor.
As SB 54 is debated on the floor, I will be working to see that recommendations by our law enforcement and criminal justice practitioners are brought to the forefront, and discussed by the House. When our police and prosecutors are telling us that they need more tools to keep our communities safe, you know that our law must change.
I am glad to see the direction that amendments have taken so far, but to further deter crime and bolster law enforcement during this period of increasing instability, more work still needs to be done. Areas of focus for me will be rolling back dramatic sentencing reductions made in SB 91, ensuring that only those who truly present no threat to society are released from jail, further strengthening laws related to crime, and ensuring that our justice system is communicating and working effectively. We also need to be working as a Legislature to further establish the safety nets our communities need to turn around the lives of those with substance abuse issues.
There is another item on the Governor’s special session agenda outside of crime: his new tax plan. The Senate has been holding hearings on this bill. I suspect the House will return to reviewing it once work on the crime bill is completed. During the evaluation of this new income tax, I will be asking for information on its impacts on Alaskan households, businesses, and our overall economy. Nothing we do as a Legislature should adversely impact our already struggling economy, and I will be fighting to make sure that Alaskans have a voice in this process.
Our office will be keeping you posted as this special session continues. Please keep reaching out to our office with all your questions, ideas and concerns!
PTA Meetings Galore
Next week is an incredibly busy time for our schools! Four different schools are having their PTA meetings during the first half of next week. Abbott Loop parents and teachers will gather on Monday the 6th at 3:45 p.m. in the Library. On Tuesday we find a full slate of meetings. Dedicated parents will meet up at 3:45 p.m. in the Trailside Library. At 4:00 p.m. parents from Polaris K-12 will convene at the school, followed by Hanshew’s PTA meeting at 6:00 p.m. in their Library.
Big Brothers Big Sisters
On November 9th, at 5:30 p.m. Big Brothers Big Sisters is inviting the public to attend a live, as well as silent, art auction featuring local artists, with all proceeds going to benefit the youth in our community.
Their event, “Dream Big Anchorage,” is going to be at the Fox Hollow Chalet (11801 Fox Hollow Chalet Anchorage, AK 99516). More information about this wonderful event and organization can be found at their website here!
End of Season Gathering!
Our tough and hard-working Service High School football team is throwing an end of season celebration! The event will be at the school on November 13th at 6:00 p.m. See below for details about the event! Go Cougars!
Honoring Veterans Day through Music
The Anchorage Symphony Orchestra has put together an amazing looking event to honor our veterans. On November 11th at the Atwood Concert Hall they will be paying tribute to the incredible men and women who have served our nation. Through symphonic photo-choreography, the Anchorage Symphony and others will commemorate the 100th and 75th anniversaries of WWI and WWII respectively. To learn more about this event click here.