Special Session Update
This Monday, the Legislature gaveled in to special session, with two pieces of legislation to consider: Senate Bill 54 and House Bill 4001. Hearings on both bills are occurring in the House, and we wanted to be sure you received an update as we progress through the session.
Senate Bill 54:
Senate Bill 54 makes specific changes to our current criminal law, which was overhauled in 2016 by Senate Bill 91. As introduced, Senate Bill 54 makes changes including increased sentences for Class C felonies, increased sentences for violating release conditions and protections for victims of sex trafficking. While these changes give more tools back to law enforcement and prosecutors, those same groups are also asking for additional amendments to better protect the public. In the House Judiciary Committee, our office succeeded at gaining support for a few changes including:
– Sober Law: requires that an intoxicated person who is arrested must sober-up before they are released (or have a sober caretaker).
– Repeal of Administrative Parole: requires that those seeking parole must have a hearing before the parole board before their release, not just an automatic release.
– Criminalization of “Pink,” a deadly opiate with no medical use
– Increased sentences for a Class A felony committed against a law enforcement officer or first responder
This bill now heads to the Finance Committee, where it will be further considered. Our office is continuing to push for changes requested during hours of public testimony, and requested by those in law enforcement. We have many more amendments to this bill, which we will fight for on the House floor.
House Bill 4001:
House Bill 4001 is the Governor’s new “employment tax,” which is a tax of 1.5% on wages and self-employment income. This bill has received one hearing in the House Finance Committee, and will continue to be evaluated by that committee through the session.
You can find more information on the Governor’s tax here.
It has been a busy week here in Juneau, and we’ll keep you posted as things keep moving.
Public Testimony on Crime
Tomorrow and Monday there are opportunities for you to share your thoughts and experiences with crime in Alaska. Here are the details:
WHAT: Public Testimony on Senate Bill 54 in House Finance Committee
WHEN: Saturday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Monday from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
WHERE: Anchorage LIO or by phone at (907) 563-9085
We want to hear from you!
Service Student Shines in Gifted Mentorship Program!
This week we have the incredible honor to share a wonderful story of a Service High Senior by the name of Jayci VanDehey! Jayci has been participating in the ASD’s Gifted Mentorship Program, studying technical aspects of musical theatre with the crew of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella team.
To read more about Jayci’s success and experience with the Gifted Mentorship Program click here!
Board of Game Meeting
In a few weeks Alaskans will be afforded an opportunity to participate in the process of crafting regulations regarding all aspects of hunting throughout our state.
From November 10-17 the Alaska Board of Game will hold its Statewide Regulations Meeting at the Lakefront Anchorage Hotel, in the Redington Ballroom (4800 Spenard Road Anchorage, AK 99517). The Board will entertain proposals to change regulations related to the use and taking of game, along with a variety of public recommendations concerning permits, licenses, transportation, hunt conditions, fees, and customary and traditional uses of game populations.
As noted on their website, “the proposed regulation changes are available on the Board of Game website at www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=gameboard.meetinginfo&date=11-10-2017&meeting=anchorage, or from the ADF&G Boards Support Section Office at (907) 465-4110. Additional meeting information will be added to the website as it becomes available.”
Comments on the different proposals can be submitted online at: www.boardofgame.adfg.alaska.gov or by fax to (907) 465-6094, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org (PDF format only). Alaskans will also be able give oral testimony (three to five minutes) on the proposals at the meeting.
Construction Wrap Up
The hardworking men and women of DOT and contracting crews from Quality Asphalt Paving (QAP) have set up a new traffic pattern along the Seward Highway that will remain in effect till spring. See their latest announcement below:
NEW TRAFFIC PATTERN: Southbound Seward Highway traffic has transitioned onto the newly constructed southbound Seward Highway. Northbound Seward Highway traffic is now on the newly constructed northbound Seward Highway. Note that this traffic configuration is temporary and only in effect through the winter. Additional work to complete the project will occur next year.
For more information, please call DOT at 770-2612, QAP at 522-2211 or visit http://AlaskaNavigator.org
Meetings Next Week
A variety of great community events are occurring next week. On Wednesday November 1st Kasuun Elementary is having its PTA meeting. Parents and teachers will gather in the school Library at 4 p.m. to plan future events and gathers for the kids!
Then on Thursday the 2nd the Home and Landowners Organization for the Anchorage Hillside (or HALO) has their regular Board meeting at 7 p.m. HALO meets at the Holy Spirit Retreat Center on the Corner of Hillside and O’Malley.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read our update! Please don’t hesitate to call or email with questions or concerns.
Have a great weekend,