Legislative proposals aim at rising crime rate

Gov. Bill Walker is proposing new crime fighting steps, including one dealing with a persistent problem of newly emerging drugs creating immense public safety concerns.

The legislative proposals were announced Jan. 17 as part of Walker’s Safer Alaska agenda.

The governor’s office said the Department of Law would unveil updates to the state’s Public Safety Action Plan, including one to make distribution of large quantities of drugs a Class A felony offense, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Other proposals would allow the attorney general’s office to schedule controlled substances by regulation on an emergency basis, request a national criminal history record check from the FBI on anyone applying to attend police training programs in Alaska, double fees for conviction of felony and misdemeanor crimes and violation of municipal ordinances, and allow judges to consider out-of-state criminal history when determining bail and release conditions.

Walker’s budget adds $34 million for public safety efforts, plus $2 million to allow troopers to travel for community policing efforts in rural communities.