Renews Request for Senate Finance Committee to Schedule Erin’s Law for a Hearing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 5, 2015
ANCHORAGE – Erin’s Law, to give children needed information to protect themselves from sexual predators, has been approved in two additional states. This comes as Erin’s Law legislation is stalled in the Alaska Senate. Oregon and Alabama have approved Erin’s Law, making them the 24th and 25th states to pass this important personal body safety measure.
“I applaud the Legislatures in Alabama and Oregon for passing Erin’s Law without delay,” said Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage). “It’s impressive that the bills moved so quickly with passage happening two months after introduction in Alabama and four months in Oregon.”
Erin’s Law was first introduced in the Alaska Legislature in 2014 by Rep. Tarr. The bill nearly passed last year but got caught up in the shuffle at the end of the session. This year, four versions of Erin’s Law were proposed in the Alaska House and Senate. However, after the regular session ended none had passed both bodies. Governor Bill Walker put Erin’s Law on the agenda for the First Special Session but that session ended without passage. Republican leadership then called their own Special Session and reportedly Erin’s Law remains under consideration. Currently, Erin’s Law is stalled in the Senate Finance Committee awaiting a hearing.
“I’m renewing my call for the Senate Finance Committee to schedule Erin’s Law for a hearing,” said Rep. Tarr. “Every member of the Senate Finance Committee has previously voted yes on Erin’s Law and some, like Senator Dunleavy, have voted up to three times in favor of the measure. Further delay is unnecessary and prevents us from moving forward in our efforts to keep kids safe.”
Erin’s Law would direct public school districts in Alaska to offer students age appropriate sexual assault awareness and prevention curricula. The law is named for child sex abuse survivor Erin Merryn, whose life’s work is to pass the law in all 50 states. Alaska is now in line to become the 26th state in the nation to implement Erin’s Law.