NFIB Victory—Governor Signs Petty Theft Reform Bill

Date: November 28, 2017

Finally! All 2017 legislative activity comes to an end

State Director Denny DeWitt reports from the State Capitol in Juneau

Well, it appears that the 2017 legislative season is finally closed.

On November 26, Gov. Bill Walker signed Senate Bill 54 into law as Chapter 1 4SSLA17. The bill was a huge victory for NFIB members and all small businesses. It included penalties for 4th-degree theft, class A-misdemeanors, and class C-felonies.  

Additionally, SB 54, thanks to the leadership of Rep. Lance Pruitt, the felony threshold was reduced from $1,000 to $750, the level NFIB advocated in 2016. In a letter to the governor thanking him for putting SB 54 on special session call, NFIB pointed out:

“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. Our members are experiencing substantially more theft by these same people as a result of the lack of tools our police have to deal with petty theft.

“Senate Bill 54 corrects unintentional problems caused by the passage and interpretation of Senate Bill 91 passed by the legislature in 2016. It addresses penalties for 4th-degree theft, class A misdemeanors, and class C-felonies. SB 54, for the most part, reflects recommended changes from the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission.

“While SB 54 may not resolve all concerns with SB 91, it is important to, at least, take this modest step now. We believe the changes in SB 54 will help deter misdemeanor crime and provide enforcement agencies the tools to help reduce criminal activity.”

Looking Ahead

Activities for the 2018 session will begin on December 15, the day the administration is required to provide its budget to the Legislature.

On January 8 and 12, pre-filed bills will be released. The 2018 session begins on January 16.

This report is the final legislative update for 2017. They will resume in January.

Previous Reports, Related News Releases, And Editorials

November 10 Report—Are Proposed Tax Hikes Dead for the Year?

November 4 Report—NFIB Thanks Rep. Lance Pruitt for Working to Lower Felony Threshold to $750 From $1,000

October 27 Report—Bill Restoring Petty Theft Penalties Advances

October 21 Report—Small Business Readies for Special Session

October 13 News Release—Walker Thanked for Adding SB 54 to Special Session Call

May 19 Report—Restoration of Petty Theft Penalties Fails to Pass

May 12 Report—Alaska Senate Votes Down State Income Tax Revival

May 9 Editorial—Fundamental Income Tax Lessons for Alaska

May 5 Report—Income Taxes, Petroleum Taxes and Little Else

April 28 Report—Which Will Cave First Over State Income Tax, House or Senate?

April 21 Report—One Adjournment Deadline Ignored. Will a Second Be?

April 14 Report—NFIB Victory: Independent Contractors Pulled out of State’s Crosshairs

April 7 Report—NFIB Forcing Legislature to Practice What it Preaches

March 31—NFIB Testifies in Favor of Tougher Petty Theft Penalties

March 24 Report—Hearings on a New State Income Tax Take Center Stage

March 17 Report—NFIB Victory: Deceptive Income Tax Proposal Put Aside

March 10 Report—NFIB, State Still Far Apart on Defining Independent Contractors

March 3 Report—NFIB to Fight Alaska bid to Spike UI Wages

February 24 Report—Gas Tax Increase, State Income Tax Bills Still Alive

February 17 Report—NFIB to Testify Against Assault on Independent Contractors

February 10 Report—NFIB Looking at Four Fixes to Omnibus Crime Bill

February 3 Report—Flaw in SB 91: What Penalty for Petty Theft?

January 27 Report—Independent Contractors Once Again in Crosshairs of Alaska Legislature

January 20 Report—Costly Bills Make Return Engagement in Juneau

January 5 News Release—Poll: Alaska Should Not Be in The Retirement Business

[Tile photo courtesy of The Alaska State Legislature website.]

Related Content: News | State | Alaska | State Capitol Report

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