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Governor and Attorney General Praise Crime Legislation
New Laws Provide More Weapons for Fighting Crime;
State Operating Budget Provides Funding for More State Prosecutors


June 30, 2004

Juneau, Alaska - On the final day of the legislative session, state lawmakers passed comprehensive legislation introduced by Governor Frank Murkowski to bolster the state's ability to wage war on crime. Senate Bill 170 and House Bill 309 together provide support to communities that choose to reduce alcohol, recognize victims and work to keep them safe, include provisions to make dangerous criminals think twice, provide greater protection from juvenile offenders and strengthen our drunk driving laws. In addition to making improvements in the law, the legislature increased funding for state prosecutors.

"I promised the people of Alaska that public safety would be a top priority for my administration," said the Governor. "A two-year effort led by Attorney General Gregg Renkes has produced much needed crime legislation and increased funding to match my administration's commitment to the Alaska State Troopers and law enforcement. "I congratulate the legislative leadership for its hard work and dedication in this effort."

"I'm responsible for state prosecution in Alaska, and I know that having the legal tools and the resources needed to prosecute crimes is absolutely essential," said Renkes. "We made our case to the legislature, and for the first time in eight years the executive branch of state government has pushed forward a comprehensive plan to strengthen our existing criminal laws and increase the state's prosecution budget."

SB 170 and HB 309, which encompass the Governor's crime package, provide additional tools to law enforcement including:

  • Recognizing and allowing communities to adopt lower limits for alcohol possession and importation as part of the local option system
  • Strengthening bootlegging statutes; mandating forfeiture of vehicles used in bootlegging
  • Requiring judges to impose some consecutive jail time when the offender has been convicted of hurting more than one victim or one victim more than once
  • Prohibiting the use of self-defense by individuals who come armed to a felony drug deal or while engaging in felony gang activity
  • Making it a misdemeanor for third-party custodians who put victims at risk by failing to notify the police when a defendant released to their custody violates court conditions and
  • Making it a felony offense to drive under the influence within ten years of having been previously convicted of felony Driving Under the Influence.

"I want to thank Governor Murkowski for making the crime bill an administration priority," said Renkes. "I thank the legislature for supporting this effort. Most importantly I wish to thank a number of people from the criminal division of the department of law for pushing this legislation with the same tenacity and common sense that they routinely use in the prosecution of crime throughout the state."

This legislation becomes effective on July 1, 2004.


Source of News Release:

Office of the Governor
Web Site


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