Rep. Tarr and Erin Merryn

Alaska Legislature has Opportunity to Pass Meaningful Legislation to Protect Children

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2015

JUNEAU – Today is day 90 of the first session of the 29th Alaska Legislature.  Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) continues to remain hopeful the Legislature will pass Erin’s Law and become the 22nd state in the nation to approve this effective tool to prevent child sexual abuse.

“Yesterday’s action by the House of Representatives to approve Erin’s Law was an indication that this legislation has the needed support to become law this year,” said Rep. Tarr, who sponsored one of four Erin’s Law bills this session.  “The scope of the problem demands action. I am confident the members of the Senate will find this legislation important enough to expedite the process for a floor vote sometime today.”

Saturday, the House passed House Bill 44 by a vote of 34-6.  HB 44 is sponsored by House Majority Leader Charisse Millett (R-Anchorage) and co-sponsored by Rep. Tarr, who introduced Erin’s Law last year.  The companion bill in the Senate nearly made it through the Legislature but got stalled in committee in the House after unanimous support in the Senate.

“Many of the supporters of Erin’s Law who testified this session showed incredible courage in telling their moving stories of abuse and recovery,” said Rep. Tarr.  “I believe those stories played a big role in the momentum this legislation has picked up in the final days of session. I will continue to work today to ensure passage.”

Getting Erin’s Law passed in all 50 states is the life work of child sex abuse survivor Erin Merryn.  Her law has been implemented in 21 states and has been proven as an effective tool to prevent child sexual abuse by requiring public schools to offer prevention curriculum.

HB 44 has been sent to the Senate for consideration. 

For more information about Erin’s Law and the progress towards legislative approval, contact Rep. Geran Tarr at (907) 465-3424.

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