Juneau, Alaska (KINY) The first day of the fourth special session of the Alaska State Legislature saw progress on a crime bill but little progress in the Senate on a proposal to impose a payroll tax on workers.
The House and Senate both held hearings on the crime bill. House Republicans also insisted that the crime bill get vigorous debate and that no bill be rushed into law. The House Judiciary Committee is expected to allow several hours of public comment on the legislation. The Senate Bill 91 on crime reform was approved last year in response to a growing prison population. Critics have argued the bill was too soft on criminals and left judges and prosecutors with fewer alternatives. Another crime factor has been the opioid abuse and or addiction problem that has faced the entire nation.
The Governor proposed a payroll tax in order to improve the state's fiscal situation. The special session could last up to 30 days.