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 appropriation meets the full amount state law allows the CBJ to give the school district plus provides $925,700 for other programs and activities not tied to the state funding cap.
- The Juneau Assembly is no longer considering shuttering the Juneau-Douglas City Museum. The 41-year-old institution is one of several facilities singled out for closing to help close a $1.9 million shortfall.
- Ishmael Hope's second book of poetry, "Rock Piles Along the Eddy," explores indigenous thought.
- After walking back a demand for border wall funding, President Trump is no longer threatening to stop health care subsidies under Obamacare, as conservatives renew a bid to repeal and replace the law.