May 10, 2019
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Juneau, AK 99801
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1500 W Benson
Anchorage, AK 99503
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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I want to first thank you for all your input this session and ask for a bit more! We have an end of session survey that can be filled out electronically and if you live in the district a paper copy will shortly arrive at your door. If you would like to fill the survey out online you can do so here: 2019 District 18 Constituent Survey.
I appreciate your time in filling out this survey. Your responses will help guide me as I continue to represent District 18 in the future. Without your voice I can’t best represent you, so I’d like to thank you in advance!
Keep an eye out for the survey in your mailbox as shown below!
I also wanted to let you know about the recent crime bill that just passed the house.
Crime has been a major issue for many Alaskans recently and I wanted to update all you on what the legislature has been doing these past couple months to address this problem. House Bill 49 is the product of months of hard work by the House Majority to rectify problems with SB 91, the crime bill from three years ago, and to continue to improve Alaska’s public safety. This bill is a direct product of input from the public and public safety organizations on the crime issue Alaska has been facing.
HB 49 does a number of things to fix the many problems associated with past crime bills: increasing penalties, removing leniency for drug offenders, and directly addressing vehicle theft among other things. Below is a more comprehensive list of the changes HB 49 makes, provided by Rep. Matt Claman, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee. In addition the link below leads to a presentation given by Representative Claman in which he explains what the bill does: HB 49 Presentation.
List of major changes to current statues contained in HB 49:
- The presumptive sentencing ranges for Class A and Class B felony offenses would increase, as would the maximum sentence for all Class A and Class B misdemeanors.
- The mandatory probation sentence for first- and second-time drug convictions is abolished. For the most dangerous illegal drugs like heroin, other opioids, and methamphetamine, judges would be able to sentence first- and second-time drug possession offenders up to one year in jail. A third drug possession conviction would result in a felony conviction punishable by up to 2 years in prison. Any drug offender who is trafficking or distributing these types of drugs is subject to much higher felony penalties and longer prison sentences.
- At the request of law enforcement officials, a new crime is established to help combat motor vehicle thefts: Possession of Motor Vehicle Theft Tools. In order to be convicted, the defendant would have to both possess tools commonly used to steal a vehicle and demonstrate an intent to steal a vehicle.
- Police and prosecutors would be allowed to aggregate the amounts stolen by a defendant within a six month period in order to hold serial thieves accountable.
- Under current law, not all sex offenders who are registered in another jurisdiction are required to enter the Alaska sex offender registry when they move here. HB 49 closes that loophole. The bill also increases the maximum period of probation for sex offenders and bars sex offenders from receiving good time credit while in prison or on parole.
- The crime of second- and third-degree escape is expanded to make it a felony to cut off an ankle monitor while on house arrest.
- Penalties for failure to appear are increased: defendants who fail to appear in court while facing a felony charge will receive an additional felony charge, and those facing a misdemeanor charge who fail to appear in court will receive an additional misdemeanor charge.
- Defendants would no longer be eligible to receive credit for time served for pre-trial electronic monitoring.
- A new felony crime is established so individuals who solicit or produce indecent pictures of minors are held accountable.
- Timely testing of sexual assault examination kits is required.
- Release-from-prison plans are required for all defendants who serve 90 days or more. The plans will be required to address substance abuse treatment plans and re-entry services.
- The presumption that courts will follow the pre-trial risk assessment analysis is repealed and replaced with a requirement that courts to consider the pre-trial risk assessment analysis in making bail release decisions.
- The incentive for earned compliance credit is changed to 30 days (served) for 10 days (earned) for good conduct on probation and parole.
If you have any questions or concerns on this or other issues, please contact me at Rep.Harriet.Drummond@akleg.gov or call 907-465-3875 or toll free at 800-922-3875.