Rep. Gara’s November 13th Newsletter: Senate Leaders Choose No Jail Time for Car Theft, Sexual Abuse of Minors (and a Bigger Recession!) Over Staying at Work

I’m here in Juneau, with almost no senators. That’s been the case for most of Special Session, as most Republican Senate majority members skipped work the first ten days of this 30-day Special Session and then left for good this past Saturday.

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OPINION: Answers to your questions about public safety

Why has crime increased in Alaska? Three of the biggest drivers are the opioid epidemic, the ongoing recession and multiple years of cuts to law enforcement (both on the street and in the courtroom). How much is because of each of those, and how much is because of state policy, I just don’t know. As far as I’ve seen, no one can say for sure.

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NEWS: Alaska Senate Jeopardizes Legislative Action to Address Crime

Juneau – With a vote earlier today, the Alaska State Senate jeopardized the stiffer criminal penalties included in Senate Bill 54 to respond to the recent spike in crime in Alaska. By refusing to fix constitutional problems with the bill through a conference committee, the Senate has guaranteed the bill will be litigated, which would leave in place the lenient sentencing guidelines included in last year’s omnibus criminal justice reform bill.

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Rep. Tarr’s November 10th Newsletter: SB 54 Passes House, What’s Next for Criminal Justice Reform, and Apply to be a Trooper

I’m thinking of all of our Veterans today, including my brother and Grandfather, who served our country honorably and fought to protect the freedoms we cherish as Americans. This week we also honor our Women Veterans, with their own day on November 9th, as passed by the legislature in 2000. I loved reading this story about honoring our local Women Veteran sheroes at the VA in Anchorage on Alaska Women Veterans Day.

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Rep. Grenn’s November 9th Newsletter: Criminal Justice Reform and AK LNG Update

Protecting Alaskans and keeping our communities safe is perhaps the primary obligation of our government. The past few months, I’ve spent an enormous amount of time learning about the different facets of crime, and how it affects our state, meeting with everyone from prosecutors, law enforcement, business owners, and victims of crimes. I was pleased to be in Juneau the last two weeks fighting for legislation that can be part of the solution to help stop the recent uptick in criminal activity.

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Rep. Kawasaki’s November 9th Newsletter: Criminal Justice Reform & Veterans’ Day in Fairbanks

Late last night, my colleagues and I in the Alaska State House passed SB 54 after 3 days of amendments, 13 hours of public testimony and six days of work in Finance Committee. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Coghill, now returns to the Alaska State Senate to agree on the changes.

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