News from the Alaska State Legislature, the Office of Senator Micciche
For Immediate Release: May 08, 2018

Senate Pushes Back on Crime

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JUNEAU – Today, Sen. Kevin Meyer (R-Anchorage), chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, released a package of bills designed to provide Alaska’s law enforcement and courts with stronger tools to fight crime.

“Our constituents are rightfully concerned about the increased crime in our communities,” said Sen. Meyer. “We must address these concerns now by providing necessary tools to those on the front lines working to keep Alaskans safe. Public safety is a top priority for me and for the Senate Majority.”

The Senate Rules Committee package, House Bill 312:

  • Makes it a crime to attack medical professionals who are trying to help people;
  • Grants judges more flexibility to hold offenders in jail while they await trial;
  • Empowers the Attorney General to ban dangerous new drugs by emergency regulation; and
  • Ensures judges can consider out-of-state criminal charges when making pre-trial release decisions.

The legal changes compliment significant investment against crime. The Senate’s operating budget included up to $12 million to hire and retrain new troopers. The capital budget included $2 million each for crime prevention and response equipment for the Alaska State Troopers and the Anchorage Police Department; $75,000 to bolster community watch programs; $100,000 for community patrols in Anchorage; and $2.5 million to process a backlog of sexual assault kits.

“We hear from law enforcement and Alaskans daily that drug abuse is the root of our crime problems,” said Sen. Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna). “Our budgets support hiring and retraining troopers as well as critical upgrades they requested to target the flow of drugs throughout our state. Although we have more work to do, this partial repeal of the current law is bad for criminals and good for law-abiding Alaskans – the way the law should function.”

The crime package, HB 312, is expected to be scheduled soon for a vote on the Senate floor.

For more information, contact Senate Majority Press Secretary Daniel McDonald at (907) 465-4066.

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