JUNEAU -

A law offering sweeping reforms to Alaska’s prison system has passed the state Legislature Tuesday.

The House unanimously passed Senate Bill 64 early Monday morning, and the Senate concurred with changes to the bill on Tuesday.

According to a sponsor statement, the bill’s goal is to increase public safety, slow prison growth and cut costs.

It was introduced by Senate Majority Leader John Coghill (R-North Pole) in February 2013.

“This is long overdue and the culmination of years of hard work by Alaskans across the state,” said Sen. Johnny Ellis (D-Anchorage) in a statement released Tuesday. “I believe this is one of the most important pieces of legislation to pass during my time in the Legislature, and I applaud Senator Coghill for his leadership and willingness to work across the aisle.”

Bipartisan supporters of the bill say Alaska will be forced to build another prison, at a cost of $250 million, if it does not attempt to reduce its skyrocketing prison population.

The bill establishes a 24/7 Sobriety Program, which requires certain offenders to submit to twice-a-day alcohol or drug testing. Proponents say the program has lead to a reduction in substance abuse-related offenses in other states.

The measure also provides stricter penalties for attempted abduction, and increases the threshold for felony theft from $500 to $750.

The bill creates the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission, to analyze and evaluate the effect of laws and practices within the state’s criminal justice system. In addition it reforms the parole system to provide “swift and certain” punishment for violators.

SB 64 also creates a new mitigating factor for crimes, allowing a judge to take into consideration whether the offense was related to combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury.

The legislation heads to Gov. Sean Parnell’s desk for his signature.