I viewed my House District 13 opponent Kathy Henslee’s website for the first time today. On her website, she claims that I supported Senate Bill 91. The exact polar opposite is true. I was the only Democrat in the Alaska Legislature (House and Senate combined) to fight the bill. In the State House, 30 amendments were brought to a final vote. Each was an effort to rein in SB 91′s excesses or educate the body on risks carried by the bill. Thirteen of 30 of those were my amendments.
While I believe the authors of SB 91 (principally conservative Sen. John Coghill) had very good intentions in offering the bill, it was a dangerous bill and among the worst that ever came before me for a vote. I knew that Alaska was not ready for such a dramatic reform and I worried that funding to prop-up the reforms would not be vigilantly protected. Additionally, the bill put the cart before the horse. It dramatically reduced sentences before standing up programs and institutions to help criminal defendants.
There is a chance that my opponent simply failed to “clean up” her previous website. But, again, as a former prosecutor, the fact is unmistakable: I vigorously fought SB 91 at every step in the spring of 2016. Skeptics may want to ask former Rep. Lance Pruitt and current State Sen. Lora Reinbold about my efforts to sound the alarm about SB 91.
— Rep. Andy Josephson
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