Public Testimony Opportunity on SB 54,
Senate Bill 54, Crime and Sentencing, will be open for public testimony in the House Judiciary Committee today (Tuesday, Oct. 24) from 6-9 PM.
I support SB 54 in its current form. This bill makes good changes to last year's omnibus crime bill, SB 91. Criminal justice reform is needed, but it takes time. Recent increases in property crimes in Alaska have little to do with SB 91 -- its most important provisions have yet to be enacted. Rather, the increase in crime is due to a perfect storm of a recessive economy, the opioid crisis, and probably most importantly: budget cuts reducing the number of law enforcement officers and prosecutors. So I believe we need to leave SB 91 in place, not fully repeal it. Passage of SB 54 will improve the goals of SB 91 -- I'm hopeful and confident that given time these reforms will both save the state money and reduce crime.
I encourage anyone interested to testify on this legislation tonight from 6-9 PM. If you are able, it's best to go to the Fairbanks LIO at 1292 Sadler Way, Suite 308. If necessary, you can call 844.586.9085 to testify.
Here is a link to FAQ on SB 54 from the Department of Law: