The Legislature is now in a special session called by the Governor to consider tax and budget issues, but also to revise the 2016 criminal justice law, Senate Bill 91. That bill reduced sentencing for lower level crimes in an effort to decrease corrections costs and recidivism.
The bill being considered this session, Senate Bill 54, would increase those sentences following criticism of the way the original bill allowed repeat offenders out on the street, threatening public safety. Law enforcement organizations are among those who want Senate Bill 91 fixed.
Tuesday, October 24, the Alaska House Judiciary Committee is collecting public testimony on Senate Bill 54. The Senate has already passed the bill, but some in the House are seeking to amend it.
Bethel’s Zach Fansler sits as vice-chair of the House Judiciary Committee, which is hearing public testimony on the bill tonight from 6 to 9 p.m. Residents can offer input by visiting the Bethel Legislative Information Office near Watson’s Corner or by calling 844-586-9085 toll-free.