Gov. Walker Announces SB91 Reform On Agenda During Fourth Special Session
Governor Bill Walker has officially called a fourth special session for the Alaska Legislature this year.
He made the definitive announcement at a conference in Anchorage Friday afternoon.
And in addition to revenue measures to help close the state's multibillion-dollar deficit, the governor included another bill on the special session agenda - Senate Bill 54 - which would modify an omnibus crime bill that has become controversial after it went into effect last year.
Senate Bill 91 was intended as a way to promote rehabilitation for lesser offenders and ease the state's swelling prison population.
But it has been a target for state residents who blame it for increases in crime rates.
With the addition of Senate Bill 54 to the special session call, lawmakers will have an opportunity to make some changes.
Gov. Bill Walker:
"We can spend time trying to figure out the cause, and certainly we will, look at that, but more importantly, what can we do about it. The causes could be a number of things. Is it budget reductions? Is it the economic stability or lack thereof? Is it a fiscal - lack of a fiscal plan in some way? Opioid epidemic? Or is it associated with the criminal justice reform?
Don't know exactly how to assign to any of those in particular, we'll look at them all. But in the meantime, that's not where we're going to focus. We're going to focus on what can we do, and what can we do as soon as possible to address the situation?"