Erin’s Law Bill Added to the Agenda for Legislative Special Session
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 28, 2015
JUNEAU – With Monday’s adjournment, the Alaska Legislature failed yet again to take action on legislation to provide sexual abuse prevention education to K-12 students. Erin’s Law has been a top priority of Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage), who sponsored one of the four bills on the subject this session.
“Governor Walker has been very consistent in calling for passage of this important law. He asked for the bill in his State of the State address and publically reiterated that request several times during the session,” said Rep. Tarr. “One of the bills passed the House but the Senate Republican’s refuse to take it up. Now that it’s on the call for the special session, they should debate it, pass it, and send it to the Governor for his signature.”
Erin’s Law requires youth be taught a personal body safety curriculum that gives them information to keep them safe from child sex abusers. The scope of the problem in Alaska is troubling with nearly 300 allegations of abuse just last month.
“I’m extraordinarily disappointed the Senate Republican leadership blocked Erin’s Law from passing. They had eight extra days of session to consider this important law,” said Rep. Tarr. “Just in the extra days of session, eighty Alaskan children may have been sexually abused. Every day the Senate Republicans block this law more children are harmed.”
Erin’s Law is named for child sex abuse survivor Erin Merryn, whose life’s work is to pass the law in all 50 states. Merryn visited the Legislature last year and testified several times the past two years advocating for Alaska to become the 22nd state in the nation to implement Erin’s Law.
Governor Walker added House Bill 44 to the call for the special session to give the Legislature adequate time to consider the bill. The Governor cited the overwhelming support for Erin’s Law in making his decision.
For more information, contact Rep. Geran Tarr at (907) 465-3424.