The Latest: Coghill to urge more work on crime bill rewrite
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on the special legislative session in Alaska (all times local):
A state senator who has been a leader in criminal justice reform efforts in Alaska says he’ll recommend a conference committee on a House rewrite of a crime bill he sponsored earlier this year.
But Republican Sen. John Coghill says first he wants to hold a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Finance committees to discuss the changes made by the House and the impacts of those changes.
Coghill wants to make sure senators fully understand what they’ll be voting on.
The bill, as originally proposed, sought to revise provisions of a sprawling criminal justice overhaul passed last year in response to concerns by the public and law enforcement.
The version that passed the Senate earlier this year was narrower than the one that passed the House early Tuesday.
The Alaska House has passed legislation aimed at addressing concerns about the sweeping criminal justice overhaul passed last year.
The 32-8 vote early Tuesday followed days of at-times intense debate on a bill that was prompted by public outcry over crime.
The Senate must now decide whether to agree to the extensive changes made by the House or go to a conference committee, where the two sides would try to hammer out a compromise.
Gov. Bill Walker said he looked forward to the Senate concurring.
The 2016 overhaul, based on recommendations from a special commission, stemmed from concerns about the state’s growing prison population and high rates of recidivism. Critics argued it was too soft on crime.
Crime so far has dominated the special session, which began Oct. 23.