Gov. Walker signs dating violence bill into law

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) — Gov. Bill Walker signed a bill into law that will fund a program that teaches children about preventing dating violence Wednesday afternoon. The main advocates of the legislation -- Butch and Cindy Moore -- were looking on.

Gov. Bill Walker signs into law a bill that funds an education program that teaches students about dating violence and how to prevent it. (KTUU)

The Moores' daughter, Breanna, was shot to death by her boyfriend, Joshua Almeda, in 2014, in Almeda’s Hillside home in Anchorage. Almeda pleaded guilty the next year to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 75 years in prison. He was 24 at the time of his plea.

At the signing on Wednesday, Cindy Moore said the bill, informally named Bree’s Law, is especially important in Alaska, which leads the nation in domestic violence against women. Butch Moore thanked the Legislature for its near unanimous support for the measure.

The bill was signed in the atrium of the Anchorage Native Primary Care Center on Diplomacy Drive, and more than 200 people watched the ceremony. Butch Moore said that the Southcentral Foundation, the Native health organization, was also instrumental in passage of the bill.

Among the people in attendance was Rep. Charisse Millett, R-Anchorage, lead sponsor of the first bill after Breanna Moore was shot, the 2015 Alaska Safe Children Act, which directed schools to teach about sexual abuse, dating violence and suicide prevention, and directed school employees to receive annual crisis response training.

The bill signed Wednesday, House Bill 214, expanded on that act, renaming the dating program after Breanna Moore and providing money to school districts for training. HB 214’s lead sponsor was Harriet Drummond, D-Anchorage, and it was substantially changed by Sen. Anna MacKinnon, R-Eagle River, co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee, who Drummond said added the money to the bill.

Drummond was at the signing ceremony, but MacKinnon, who is quitting the Legislature, was not.

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