House approves crime bill replacement

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JUNEAU, Alaska Controversial Senate Bill 91, a sweeping crime measure, is one step closer to being replaced.

House Bill 91 was originally passed in 2016, and has been criticized since it became law. It has been amended every year since it has been in place.

House Bill 49, the bill proposed to replace SB 91, was voted down by the House leading to the end of the regular session. On the first day of the special session, the Senate and the House drafted a new version of the bill. In a vote of 36 to 2, HB 49 passed on the House Floor late Monday evening.

The two votes against the bill were democratic representatives from the interior. Adam Wool and Grier Hopkins both expressed their dismay with the bill and the increase of sentence time of what they consider minor charges.

Adam Wool went on to say, "I Supported SB 91, back in 2016, when it passed. And I think there was some tweaks that need to be on when you can arrest and when you couldn't; how long you could hold someone. But, HB 49... I voted for the previous bill and I really had a hard time voting for that one. But then this latest one version that came out of the conference committee, just went too far for me."