Timely Consideration and Passage of SB 54 Will Make Alaska Safer
Birch, Kopp and Johnston express their support
Tuesday, November 7, 2017, Juneau, Alaska – Together Anchorage Representatives Chris Birch, Chuck Kopp and Jennifer Johnston express their support for the timely passage of Senate Bill 54. Over the past 2 weeks SB 54 has seen amendments and discussion which have only strengthened the bill to address many public safety concerns lawmakers have heard from Alaskans.
These Anchorage representatives agree that problematic provisions of 2016 criminal reform must be rolled back immediately to keep Alaska safe. Among the rollbacks, SB 54 returns the offense of violating a condition of release back to a criminal offense, removes a loop hole which made it difficult to prosecute certain categories of sex trafficking, provides longer probation supervision times for all classes of sex offenders, increases jail time for Class C Felony theft and class A & B misdemeanor theft. SB54 also gives judges the discretion to sentence first-time felony offenders to one year in jail, and much longer if specific aggravators are involved.
“Senate Bill 54 should have been passed back in April. While differing opinions have been expressed on how best to address criminal justice reform, most all agree this legislation is a constructive step forward in improving public safety,” said Representative Chris Birch (R-Anchorage).
“Senate Bill 54 was introduced in response to public and law enforcement calls for significant changes to previous legislation that will better protect the public. SB 54 is supported by the Anchorage Police Department, Department of Public Safety, the Department of Law (state prosecutors), the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, Fred Meyer, and many other large and small private sector businesses,” Said Representative Chuck Kopp (R-Anchorage).
“The changes made to SB 54 over the past 2 weeks directly respond to what Alaskans have been telling us. Promptly addressing the bill this special session has put Alaska on a path towards a safer future,” said Representative Jennifer Johnston (R- Anchorage).
Representatives Birch, Kopp and Johnston look forward to seeing the bill being signed into law because soon after, Alaskans will see the benefits to safety from SB54.
For more information contact Mallory Walser at Mallory.Walser@akleg.gov