July 10, 2015

CONTACT: Travis Smith (907) 258-3077

Alaska Safe Children’s Act Signed into Law Without Controversial Riders

Sen. Mike Dunleavy’s Senate Bill 89, which he attempted to combine with HB44, is on the horizon and would be a massive step back for Alaskans

ANCHORAGE: Many legislators worked hard for multiple years to see Erin’s Law become a reality in Alaska. Yesterday’s bill signing is a great reason to celebrate. Alaska Safe Children’s Act, commonly known as Erin’s Law, gives children and young adults the age appropriate tools they need to recognize sexual abuse.

HB 44’s pathway to becoming law was full of twists and turns. Chairman of the Senate Education committee, Sen. Mike Dunleavy, controversially attached his SB 89 to Erin’s Law. There was a massive public outcry against this move and eventually a clean version was passed through Senate Finance.

However, SB 89 still lives on. The bill’s primary sponsor, Sen. Dunleavy, could also be in acontested primary with US Sen. Lisa Murkowski during next session.

Alaska Commons reported that after Erin’s Law passed the Senate, SB 89 got a boost towards next session as Senate President Kevin Meyer, along with fellow Republican Senators Bill Stoltze, Cathy Giessel, John Coghill, Pete Kelly, Anna MacKinnon all co-sponsored SB 89. 

According to APRN, SB 89 stands to lose the State of Alaska $97 million dollars. SB 89 directly targets Planned Parenthood and seeks to ban them from educating at public schools. This objective of SB 89 runs directly against the letter and spirit of Erin’s Law.

“It was a major accomplishment to get Erin’s Law passed through this legislature,” said Mike Wenstrup, chair of the Alaska Democratic Party. “It’s important to keep Erin’s Law in place, and for the long term safety of Alaskan children, SB 89 cannot be passed.”