Special Update on Crime Bill for November 7,2017

Good afternoon,

 

Last night around 1:00am, the House passed an amended version of Senate Bill 54, the criminal justice reform bill. From when it passed over from the Senate, this bill has had over 19 changes, ranging from toughening sentences for felons to increasing referrals to treatment. I wanted to be sure that you had information on the bill, what it includes, and how it will change parts of our criminal justice system.

 

To be clear, this bill is not perfect or a complete solution to our state’s rising crime rates. While it does augment sentences, increase supervision of offenders and increase judicial discretion, it will not stem all criminal activity overnight. Personally, I voted to repeal Senate Bill 91, along with many other amendments that did not pass, and still believe that to fully ensure the safety of our community, we need to reset our criminal laws and front load the safety nets we know are necessary to see positive returns from our justice system. Drastic changes to our criminal laws should always be preceded by tools for law enforcement, prisons, prosecutors and judges to be able to make sure the changes work. This was not the process for Senate Bill 91.

 

Moving forward, Senate Bill 54 is a step in the right direction and I will continue to fight to see criminal deterrence and public safety prioritized in our laws. I am not done working to see Senate Bill 91’s flaws rolled back.

 

Click here to read more about Senate Bill 54.

 

So, what happens now? The Senate now has to agree to the House’s changes to Senate Bill 54, and the Governor still has to sign the bill into law. If the Senate doesn’t agree to our changes, we enter into a Conference Committee to debate and find compromise on the bill. I will keep you posted as this process and special session continues.

 

Thank you so much for staying engaged, and I hope that you’ll continue to send your ideas and questions my way, rep.charisse.millett@akleg.gov.

 

Best,


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