Alaska Senate adjourns session after passing crime bill

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – The Alaska Senate set aside constitutional concerns and approved the crime bill Friday, but sidestepped taxes when ending the special legislative session.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska warned lawmakers that a provision of the crime bill, passed by the House this week, would make presumptive sentence ranges for first-time Class C and Class B felonies the same.

The group says this would violate due process requirements. The ACLU of Alaska says the concept of graduated offenses is to ensure more serious crimes are sentenced more harshly. Class C felonies are a lesser class of felony.

The organization warned of legal action if the provision is adopted.

The Senate showed little interest in and did not vote on the other issue on the agenda – a wage tax.

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