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While the Alaska Legislature had a wholly unproductive day working in two “sessions,” 800 miles apart, Gov. Michael J. Dunleavy fulfilled one of his campaign promises and signed into law House Bill 49, which repeals the legislation many Alaskans know as SB 91 — legislation that had been signed by Gov. Bill Walker that made Alaskans feel unsafe in their own homes.
HB 49 effectively repeals and replaces the law that led to a crime wave across Alaska during the Walker Administration. It strengthens sentencing for many categories of felonies, and gives judges back the discretion they need when deciding bail conditions. It also dramatically corrects the former “catch and release” revolving door.
“Alaska’s crime statistics have gone through the roof as verified by the FBI and members of our own administration. Our property crimes are higher than most places in the United States. Our sexual assault rates are unspeakable. We have one of the highest murder rates in the country. But that’s going to change with the advent of this bill being signed today,” said Dunleavy at the bill signing ceremony at the Department of Public Safety Lake Hood Hangar.“This isn’t going to fix it all, this is just the beginning. This is going to allow the thin blue line, Troopers, corrections, local police, all of law enforcement- it’s going to give them the tools to catch these criminals, hold these criminals, prosecute these criminals, and sentence these criminals.”