Legislature Passes Key Piece of Legislation to Support Victims of Crimes Establishing the Restorative Justice Account
Monday, April 30, 2018, Juneau, AK – A bill that puts crime survivors first passed the legislature unanimously today. Representative Chuck Kopp (R-Anchorage) put forward House Bill 216 when he saw an unjust imbalance of the use of a fund established thirty years ago to help crime survivors. Over the years, most of the fund stopped being used for crime victims.
“I am honored that the Legislature passed this important public safety bill that so strongly supports survivors of crime. I thank all my colleagues in the House and the Senate for their unanimous support and Senator Shelley Hughes for carrying this bill on the Senate Floor,” said Rep. Chuck Kopp.
HB 216 establishes the Restorative Justice Account as a sub-account within the Permanent Fund for appropriations to entities allowed to receive these funds. The bill establishes a funding priority mechanism with crime victims being the top priority. HB 216 also adds restitution assistance for victims that have exhausted all means of recovery. HB 216 does not remove the liability of offenders to repay restitution orders, fines, and other costs of incarceration.
“With increasing crime in Alaska, protecting a victim’s constitutional right to restitution remains a primary objective of the Senate Majority. Through the passage of HB 216, Alaskans can be confident that the state will focus efforts toward helping victims of crime, while ensuring that criminals are held accountable until their obligation of restitution and other fines are paid-in-full,” said Senate Majority Leader Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna).
The bill is now headed to the Governor for his signature.
For more information contact Press Secretary Mallory Walser at Mallory.Walser@akleg.gov