Anchorage (KTUU) The Anchorage Assembly voted on two resolutions Tuesday night relating to the overhaul of Alaska’s criminal justice system. This comes after hearing a range of public safety concerns from the public the previous Saturday during five hours of testimony.
Before lawmakers head back to Juneau on October 23rd members of the Anchorage Assembly debated if they should tell lawmakers to alter the legislation through the proposed SB54 or start over.
All members but Amy Demboski voted for changes only, specifically an increase in funding for alcohol and drug treatment, probation, police, corrections officers, and prosecutors.
“I’m afraid if we say repeal this it will not be revisited. I think these were very courageous legislators who did this and I don’t know that we have that now. After seeing this beat up no one is going to touch it again.
We’ll be back to a system that has simply failed and wasn’t working,” said Assembly Member John Weddleton.
The resolution also recommends restoring probation limits for some misdemeanor offenses, time that was cut down to less than a year under SB91. When it came to recommending a full repeal all members but Demboski felt it was better to fix what exists today.
“There are fundamental flaws with this bill and people can agree or disagree on what parts or pieces are good but fundamentally what we’ve seen was the legislators prioritizing criminals over law-abiding citizens’ public safety,” said Demboski.
Correction: A previous version incorrectly listed Felix Rivera as a "no" vote on the resolution to amend SB91.