News and Press
Anchorage – Speaker of the House Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham) wishes to provide further information about why the upcoming Fourth Special Session should be held in the state capital of Juneau. According to the non-partisan Legislative Affairs Agency moving the session would incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional costs. This would occur just as lawmakers are wrestling with solutions to Alaska’s ongoing fiscal challenges. Speaker Edgmon has informed the members of the Alaska House of Representatives that the special session will start as scheduled Monday morning and will remain in Juneau for the duration of the session.
Fairbanks – Representative David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks) will attend a special ceremony in New York City this week to honor his late uncle, a decorated police officer who gave his life in the line of duty. Officer David Guttenberg was shot and killed during a robbery on December 28th, 1978. On Saturday, a street in New York City will be officially renamed in honor of Officer Guttenberg.
Anchorage – Representative Matt Claman (D-Anchorage) and Representative Jason Grenn (I-Anchorage) will hold a public safety town hall and resource fair on Thursday evening to continue conversations about public safety concerns, share available resources, and discuss how to work together to improve safety in West Anchorage.
Anchorage – Earlier today, a Superior Court judge issued a ruling allowing the “Stand for Salmon” ballot measure to move forward through the initiative process. The ruling requires the Alaska Lieutenant Governor to certify the initiative and allows proponents to begin collecting signatures. The purpose of the proposed ballot measure is to update state statutes to protect Alaska’s vital and nearly pristine salmon habitat.
Earlier this month, as Chair of the Departments of Public Safety and Corrections budgets for the House Finance Committee, I held hearings to provide the public and legislators the opportunity to learn more about the impact of budget cuts since 2014 on law enforcement and incarceration. My colleague Rep. Jason Grennalso held hearings on the Public Defenders Agency in the Dept of Administration and the Dept of Law for state prosecutors. You can find all presentation materials online here.
Please join me this Thursday, October 19th from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., at Kincaid Elementary School (cafeteria). Representative Matt Claman and I will be hosting a public safety discussion with the Anchorage Police Department and other local leaders. We'll be talking about how we can work together to make our community safer and we urge you to join us.
Many Alaskans have railed recently against rising crime and the 2016 criminal justice reform bill, SB91. I, too, am very concerned about the increase in crime—especially the violent variety, but also property violations—and I’ll be voting in this month’s special session to do something about it.
We’ve been talking about neighborhood crime and how to address the crime. I think by now many have heard about Senate Bill 54, a measure that has passed the Senate and now awaits action in the House, which will make some changes to Senate Bill 91, including allowing judges to use jail time in sentencing for first time C-felonies, changes in misdemeanor penalties, and violations of conditions of release. This bill addresses sentencing for both first time and repeat