Crime debate so far dominates Alaska legislative session

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – The issue of crime has dominated the first half of the scheduled 30-day special legislative session in Alaska.

The House on Monday entered its third day of debate on amendments to a bill – prompted by public outcry over crime – that makes changes to a criminal justice overhaul passed last year that critics say is too soft on crime.

The measure under debate would stiffen penalties for certain crimes and, according to the Department of Corrections, could result in more people being imprisoned.

Debate has at times been heated and intense. Some lawmakers want the overhaul repealed. Others favor modifications and giving the overhaul more time to work.

Whatever passes the House still must go to the Senate, which passed its own version of the bill earlier this year.

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