The Senate Finance Committee was expected to take up amendments to the $9. 9 billion state operating budget on Monday afternoon, but the hearing was cancelled.
The committee took public testimony over the weekend, with First Lady Sandy Parnell asking members to restore $ 827,200 to the Department of Public Safety for a sex-trafficking investigative unit. A subcommittee recommends denying the governor’s request for new troopers because there hadn’t been a single investigation in the last year.
“The reason given for cutting the funding, however, is exactly why the funding is needed,” Sandy Parnell told the Finance Committee. “Because sex trafficking is a hidden crime that must be unearthed by investigators. Its victims do not self-report. We have lots of sexual assault case investigations initiated after a report is made, but in commercial sex industry cases, this doesn’t happen. These girls are under extreme control of their captors, both physically and mentally.”
In her testimony, Parnell said troopers’ lack of experience and training in that area results in a failure to recognize signs of trafficking.
- The bill is part of a national trend targeting what’s known as “civil asset forfeiture.”
- To readers 40 years later, John McPhee's 1977 book about Alaska "Coming into the Country" is still relevant and still popular.
- Matt Lillard starts work at Mad River Glen in March.
- Gov. Bill Walker signed an administrative order in early 2015, creating a mariculture task force in hopes of boosting aquatic farming and fisheries. The task force has been examining all areas of the mariculture industry and will present a comprehensive plan to Walker in 2018. The 11-member panel has split its resources into five advisory committees over the past year.