State senator posts survey on SB 91
State Sen. Mia Costello is seeking Alaskans' input on criminal justice reform bill SB 91, saying the bill she co-sponsored did not pan out the way it was supposed to.
"I am coming out and saying it didn't work the way we intended it to work," said Costello, an Anchorage Republican who has called for the bill's complete repeal. "It wasn't put in place with the provisions we thought that we would have."
A recent survey by the Republican-led Senate majority included questions on many important issues, but failed to include any questions on crime.
"I've been hearing on a daily basis from friends and neighbors the suffering going on," Costello said. "People are having cars stolen repeatedly from their yards."
Dennis Thompson is one of those people who had a vehicle stolen. In fact, he says he's been a victim of crime in his once-quiet neighborhood three times in the past six months.
"I'm becoming afraid," Thompson said. "I've had to take major security measures. I've got cameras and now have to reinforce locks on my gate from the back because somebody came back there and stole a lawn mower. Then someone stole a snowblower out of my truck last year, and this year my truck was stolen right from my driveway."
Thompson has lived in his house for the past 20 years. The first 18 years were pleasant, but the past two have been no picnic.
"I don't feel safe anymore," Thompson said. "It's not getting better at all; it's not good and it's all because of that law. It's got to be SB 91. Ever since that took effect, crime has skyrocketed."
"It's just undeniable that this has been a problem," Costello said. "SB 91 has not had the impact that we want. It isn't the only reason we are seeing an uptick in crime. It is up 50 percent since the passage of the bill."
The intent of Costello's survey is to gather information to share with legislators.
"It's my job as a legislator to share this information with my colleagues," Costello said. "They may not believe that we need to address this issue. We want to hear from Alaskans about whether they agree with me that we need to re-look at Senate Bill 91."
Costello says the survey will remain on her Facebook page for a few more days. She plans to share the concerns and findings with legislators in Juneau sometime next week.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.