Blog Post for February 9, 2018
As part of our efforts to keep you informed and abreast of what is happening in Juneau, we are including this section into our weekly blog.
- Senate Education at 8 a.m., Child Abuse, Training Programs, Bree’s Law
- Senate Finance at 9 a.m., Presentation on Credit Rating & Debt Analysis
- Senate Finance at 9 a.m., Presentation: FY19 Operating Budget & Deferred Maintenance regarding University of Alaska
- House & Senate Resources at 12 p.m., Update on Alaska’s Mining Industry & Projects
- Senate Health & Social Services at 1:30 p.m., Presentation on Alaska Tribal Child Welfare Compact
- Lunch & Learn at 12 p.m., Alaska Air Carriers Association
- House Fisheries at 11 a.m., Presentation on Permitting Process by DNR
- House Transportation at 1:15 p.m., Presentation on the Alaska Marine Highway System Reform Initiative
- House Resources at 1 p.m., Presentation on Pebble Mine Update
- House Finance at 1:30 p.m., Budget Amendments by Governor’s Office
Last week, our office joined Butch and Cindy Moore to see the Governor sign a proclamation declaring February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. Alaska’s young people all deserve to live healthy, safe lives and we as adults have a role in helping them develop respectful relationships and a knowledge of how to treat others. After losing their young daughter, Bree, to dating violence, the Moore Family has dedicated their lives and her legacy to saving and changing the lives of teens in Alaska. They have put together a bevy of resources for teens and adults to help prevent future violence, which can be found at www.BreesLaw.org
We know it isn’t always easy to breach these important topics. A statewide group of parents and caregivers have also compiled easy and effective ways to start important conversations about relationships with teens in a project called Talk Now, Talk Often, which can be found here: http://www.tntoak.org/
Take this month, and every month, to make sure that the young people in your life are safe and successful in all their relationships.
Public Safety Update
There are many pieces of legislation being considered by the Legislature this session to address the state’s ongoing public safety crisis. We wanted to give you an update on the policy discussions we’re having right now:
– House Bill 335: This bill, brought forward by our office, puts bail and release decisions back in the hands of judges. Senate Bill 91 created a system by which a defendant, after their arrest, could be released without a judge’s discretion if they received a certain “score” from a state-created algorithm. It makes many Alaskans feel unsafe knowing that a computer’s score is deciding whether someone is safe to release back into the community before their trial. We have a system of judges for a reason, and they should be given the opportunity to evaluate all the information in front of them before letting an offender out of jail.
– House Bill 295: Our state’s prosecutors brought forward this bill which allows a judge to consider an offender’s out-of-state criminal history before deciding whether they can be released on bail. Senate Bill 91 failed to take into account that an offender’s criminal history extends beyond Alaska’s borders when it set up a new scheme for bail decisions.
– House Bill 292: This bill addresses a problem that unfortunately plagues our state: drug trafficking. When a person is caught with a large amount of drugs and is clearly intending to deal, HB 292 would allow prosecutors to charge them with our highest level of felony. This would also allow for an increased ability to track the sources of drugs coming in from out of state.
– House Bill 291: Another bill from our state prosecutors, this would allow the state to better respond to the ever-changing chemistry of designer drugs on the market. The Attorney General would be permitted to add new kinds of dangerous and illegal drugs to the schedule that is used to prosecute dealers, instead of waiting through a lengthy process to pass individual legislation as new mixtures come to light.
– House Bill 311: This bill, sponsored by our member from Palmer and co-sponsored by our office, works to unwind the changes made to criminal laws by Senate Bill 91. As the state tries to end this public safety crisis, prosecutors, judges and police officers need as many tools as possible to address crime and get dangerous people off the streets.
We hope all these bills will be heard and discussed in our public committee process, but thus far none have made it on the schedules of the House or Senate Judiciary Committees. If you’re interested in contacting those committees or learning more about their process, you can contact:
Our favorite sports teams in Alaska are gearing up for a big week! We want to keep you posted on their games so that you and the family can attend.
Boys Basketball: On Tuesday the 13th, at 7:30 p.m. the boys will face off against Chugiak High at Chugiak (Chugiak High School, 16525 S Birchwood Loop Rd, Chugiak, AK 99567). Then, come Thursday the 15th at 7:30 p.m., the boys will play at home against Bartlett! Topping off their week the boys will go up against Dimond High, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, on their home court.
Girls Basketball: Also, on Tuesday the 13th, at 6 p.m., the girls will face Chugiak in Chugiak. Like the boys, the girls will face Bartlett High on our home court (Service High School, 5577 Abbott Rd, Anchorage, AK 99507). Finishing the week, the girls will host Dimond High at 6 p.m. Saturday, the 17th on their home court.
Cross Country Skiing: On Friday the 16th, the Ski team will participate in the Region IV Freestyle from 12 – 5 p.m. at Kincaid Park (Kincaid Park, 9401 Raspberry Rd, Anchorage, AK 99502). The team will continue the meet on Saturday the 17th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.