Crime stays atop agenda as Legislature enters second week of special session

As the Alaska Legislature begins its second week of special session, all eyes will remain on the criminal justice measure known as Senate Bill 54.

The House Finance Committee will continue to take testimony today and is expected to consider amendments on the proposal later in the week before sending it to a vote of the full House.

The committee held six hours of public testimony on Saturday and will open phone lines and the Capitol podium again at 5 p.m. tonight. Alaskans can call 586-9085 or visit the Capitol between 5 and 9 p.m. to offer two minutes of public testimony.

The committee will also take invited testimony from criminal justice experts between 1 and 4 p.m. Monday.

Also Monday, the Legislature’s Select Committee on Legislative Ethics will hold meetings at the Anchorage Legislative Information Office.

Most Alaska senators have decamped to Anchorage rather than wait in Juneau for the House to vote on SB 54, but they will continue to hold hearings in Anchorage this week on various other issues.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee will hear from Office of Management and Budget Director Pat Pitney regarding the state’s budget forecast. Gov. Bill Walker is expected to present his Fiscal Year 2019 budget proposal in December, and Pitney will offer some figures to preview that announcement.

On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee will hear from Angela Rodell, CEO of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation. Rodell, who is also expected to speak to the House Finance Committee in Anchorage this week, will discuss how the Legislature’s actions over the past year have reduced the Permanent Fund’s earning potential.

On Thursday, David Teal, director of the nonpartisan Legislative Finance Division, will present some Fiscal Year 2019 budget planning information to the Senate Finance Committee. Teal is expected to reprise — with some changes — his presentation to the House Finance Committee last week.

• Contact reporter James Brooks at or call 523-2258.

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