The House and Senate have finished one third of the items on the agenda for the special session that began yesterday. Members expected fast action on the bill strengthening the state’s laws against Sex Crimes. It passed both bodies with no opposition — as the Senate first passed the measure today – and the House concurred with the single five-word change to the bill they had passed during the regular session.
That change on the Senate floor made human trafficking illegal within the state. And Anchorage Republican Lesil McGuire said the entire bill was directed at protecting children.
Our most valuable resources are our children. And if we don’t protect their souls and their spirits, we don’t have anything.
The bill — first of all – recognizes children as victims by not immediately classifying them as prostitutes. It cracks down on forced prostitution, on pornography, on conspiracy laws and it makes having sex with an underage person a felony instead of a misdemeanor.
We do not tolerate this behavior in our community in Alaska. We don’t tolerate preying on our most innocent victims, and if you are out there listening, we’re going to come get ya. These are just the first series of laws. They’re going to go on and on and on in our choose respect campaign.
The bill drew no opposing votes in either the House or the Senate and now goes to the governor for his action.