OPINION: Fiscal Gap Threatens Public Safety

Rep. Ivy Spohnholz

Alaskans have been hearing a great deal about crime and public safety in the news lately. Some have questioned whether these recent trends are caused by Senate Bill 91. The experts tell us that it’s simply too soon to know whether SB 91 is related to the spike in crime. It is still being phased with the first parts starting in July of last year and the last provision, which is a major pretrial monitoring program, launching in January of next year. However, the Legislature isn’t waiting to act on the provisions of SB 91 that need to be fixed.

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NEWS: House Health and Social Services Committee to Examine Omnibus Crime Bill Justice Reinvestment Provisions

Rep. Ivy Spohnholz

Juneau – The House Health and Social Services Committee will hold a hearing Thursday afternoon related to the Alaska Legislature’s ongoing efforts at criminal justice reform. Specifically, the committee will examine the implementation of provisions in last year’s omnibus crime bill to reinvest savings into resources to help those struggling with substance abuse.

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NEWS: Committee Meetings Scheduled to Examine Public Safety in Alaska

Anchorage – The Finance Committee in the Alaska House of Representatives has scheduled a series of budget subcommittee meetings to discuss the nexus between crime rates and available public resources in Alaska. The budget subcommittees for the Departments of Public Safety, Administration, Corrections, and Law will meet on October 5th at the Anchorage Legislative Information Office (LIO).

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NEWS: Coalition Pledges to Diligently Consider Governor Walker’s New Revenue Proposal and Criminal Justice Reform Bill

Anchorage – Speaker of the House Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham) issued the following statement in response to Governor Walker’s proclamation calling the 30th Alaska State Legislature into a 4th Special Session next month. The Governor is asking lawmakers to consider criminal justice reform legislation and a bill to create new revenue for the State of Alaska.

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NEWS: Input Needed on Importance of the Alaska Senior Benefits Program

Rep. Ivy Spohnholz

Anchorage – A statewide listening session on the future of the vital Alaska Senior Benefits Program will be held next week to gather input from Alaskan. The program is currently scheduled to sunset in June 2018. The listening session on Thursday, September 28 is sponsored by the House Health and Social Services Subcommittee on the Senior Benefits Program. The Subcommittee, chaired by Representative Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage), will be taking public input on House Bill 236 to extend the program until 2022.

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