By THE ANCHORAGE DAILY PLANET
You have to wonder sometimes what lawmakers in Juneau possibly could be thinking.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy in February offered a tough criminal justice bill. Instead of using the opportunity to make Alaskans safer, the House Majority watered down the measure, and then rushed to pack it with amendments and other bills over a few days, before calling it good and sending it to the Senate.
Almost unbelievably, there were page upon page of amendments at the last moment and Republican testimony was limited and no time was allowed for the minority to read the majority’s changes. To its credit, the House GOP minority did not buy in and voted no.
Apparently the ‘yays’ were not paying attention during the last election when Alaskans sick of crime and the state’s revolving door criminal justice system said they wanted changes, real changes in Senate Bill 91, a measure blamed for much of the crime surge in Alaska.
Despite the problems, there are some in the Legislature who cling to SB91, now law, and are trying to salvage it because its aim was to save the state money.
House Bill 49 may or may not save money, but it does Alaskans little good.
It is just something else to remember for the next election.