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 Senate State Affairs Committee heard public testimony from across Alaska on Senate Bill 128.
- Her pottery features a technique called Mishima that allows her to etch fine dark lines onto the surface of her porcelain pieces, marrying her background in drawing and illustration with organic three-dimensional forms.
- The City and Borough of Juneau has named candidates for two top positions: city manager and chief housing officer.
- Judge Pfiffner said he would issue a “lengthy” decision by the end of March at the earliest. He said his decision was likely only a “speed bump” on the way to the state Supreme Court.