Alaska Senate Passes Bill to Improve Public Safety

HB 312 Gives Law Enforcement, Prosecutors, and Judges Necessary Tools

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Senate passed legislation sponsored by Representative Matt Claman (D-Anchorage) to address community concerns and improve public safety.

House Bill 312 was introduced in response to reports from Alaska hospitals of an increase in workplace violence over the past year. As the legislation moved toward final passage, the bill was amended to provide additional tools to law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges.

“Safe communities remain a top priority for the legislature. After House Bill 312 was approved in the House with broad bipartisan support, it became apparent that we could use this legislation as a vehicle to take further steps to improve public safety,” said Rep. Claman.

House Bill 312 addresses several public safety concerns:

  • It makes sure that judges will always consider a defendant’s out-of-state criminal history in pre-trial release decisions;
  • It strengthens the pre-trial release assessment for those charged with vehicle theft and other felonies;
  • It gives Alaska’s Attorney General the authority to criminalize dangerous new controlled substances;
  • It increases surcharges imposed for felony, misdemeanor or violations and puts the increased revenue back into public safety funding; and
  • It provides much-needed tools to help police and prosecutors reduce crimes against our doctors and nurses.

“House Bill 312 increases protections for medical providers and addresses the greatest public safety needs in Governor Walker’s Public Safety Action Plan: consideration of out-of-state criminal history, improved pre-trial supervision, and stronger tools for police and prosecutors to fight the sale of illegal drugs. This legislation recognizes our common public safety concerns and is good news for all Alaskans,” said Rep. Claman.

In February, House Bill 312 passed the Alaska House of Representatives by a vote of 31-1, and today, the bill passed the Alaska Senate by a vote of 19-0. The bill now returns to the House for a concurrence vote before being transmitted to the Governor.

For more information, please contact Lizzie Kubitz in Rep. Claman’s office at (907) 465-4904.

Drew Cason
Deputy Press Secretary, Alaska House Majority Coalition
Phone: (907) 575-2068

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