News Release--“Our members are experiencing substantially more theft by these same people”
JUNEAU, Alaska, Oct. 13, 2017—In a hand-delivered letter to Gov. Bill Walker late yesterday afternoon, the representative group for Alaska’s small-business owners thanked the state’s chief executive for including Senate Bill 54 on the list of things to do when the Legislature returns October 23 for a special session.
“I wish to respectfully share our support for Senate Bill 54 and appreciation that you put it on Special Session Call,” wrote Denny DeWitt, Alaska state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, the state’s largest and leading small-business association.
“SB 54 addresses the need to provide the criminal justice system the means to encourage violators to enter treatment to address the many issues driving them to violate our laws,” said DeWitt in the letter. “Our members are experiencing substantially more theft by these people as a result of the lack of tools our police have to deal with petty theft.”
SB 54 would make important changes to last year’s crime-reform bill, Senate Bill 91. It would add to the maximum jail time for class C felonies — robbery from $1,000 to $25,000 – and would add jail time for Theft 4 – stealing items under $250. Both offer the police more leverage dealing with the new wave of theft happening to small businesses across Alaska.
The measure passed the state Senate earlier this year on a 19-to-1 vote, but was held in the House State Affairs Committee. “We believe the changes in SB 54 will help deter misdemeanor crime and provide enforcement agencies the tools to help reduce criminal activity,” said the letter.
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For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.
National Federation of Independent Business/Alaska
P.O. Box 34761
Juneau, AK 99801