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.
- Last week, the cruise ship Crystal Serenity sailed into Nome and 850 of the cruise ship’s passengers were ferried in from the offshore vessel and took the day to tour the city, but some business owners say their expectations for hypothetical increase in profits for the day weren’t met.
- New signage is being installed at Foodland IGA in downtown Juneau. Store director Rick Wilson anticipates the work will be done Tuesday afternoon.
- The city of Sitka announced Monday, Aug. 29, that the Gavan Hill area, including Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School, may be at risk for landslides. Shannon & Wilson, a Seattle-based geotechnical firm, identified the landslide hazard zones during an assessment of the area.
- As of Monday, the Ketchikan Youth Facility slated for closure had seven kids in it and the Johnson Youth Center had four.