Tough-on-crime bill passes through the Legislature, will be signed by Gov. Dunleavy

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JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) - A tough-on-crime bill passed through the Legislature Tuesday morning, now headed to the governor’s desk for his consideration.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy said Tuesday afternoon that he would sign House Bill 49, legislation said to repeal the negative portions of Senate Bill 91 that are still in effect.

The wide-ranging legislation increases sentencing ranges, toughens penalties for certain drug possession offenses, and targets sexual assault.

“This is great for Alaska and great for Alaskans,” said the governor. “This is something we’ve been talking about for a long time and this goes a long way to making Alaskans safer.”

Dunleavy did highlight that this was the first phase in his goal to improve public safety across the state. He said that he is willing to talk to lawmakers about recidivism, substance abuse and re-entry from prison.

[RELATED: Gov. Dunleavy calls for repeal of SB91]

In the Alaska House of Representatives, members are discussing a $20 million package that tackles substance abuse and could be attached to the FY2020 capital budget.

Members of the Senate majority applauded the passage of HB 49, which passed unanimously through the Senate.

“Today, we finally repealed and replaced SB 91, fulfilling a promise made to Alaskans by myself and others,” wrote Sen. Mike Shower, R-Wasilla, chairman of the State Affairs Committee, in a statement. “Now we can begin the work of restoring law and order, protecting citizens, restoring justice to victims, and turning the tide against criminals in our great state."

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