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Bills addressing cyberbullying, ethics on before 2013 legislature

Alaska Dispatch

According to the Associated Press among the many new bills filed Monday in preparation for the Alaska's 2013 Legislative session was one dealing with cyberbullying and another addressing ethics complaints against elected officials.

HB45, sponsored by Rep. Mia Costello (R-Alaska), is legislation that, if put into effect, would require school districts to have a "cyberbullying policy" in place. The bill was established after a high school student from Anchorage asked Costello to do something about social media and Internet peer harassment.

"We are recognizing the effect that cyberbullying can have on young people," Costello said. "We want to encourage positive relationships within the schools and among students, and send a message that we aren't going to tolerate any kind of harassment online."

HB10, sponsored by Rep. Max Gruenberg (D-Alaska), takes on issues raised by former Gov. Sarah Palin's administration. The bill, if passed, would only allow for "certain public officials to be reimbursed for legal fees in defending against ethics complaints if they were exonerated," according to the AP.

The former governor, who tapped out midterm in 2009, defended against a number of ethics complaints and often protested the costs.

The legislature is scheduled to convene on Jan. 15.

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