Juneau Rep. Kito discusses crime bill and medicaid lawsuit

    The State House debated for hours last week before coming to a vote, passing the state's crime bill.

    Posted Wednesday, May 11th, 2016 6:59am by Lori James

    The State House debated for hours last week before coming to a vote, passing the state's crime bill.

    Representatives have devoted lots of time in debating over 40 amendments to the measure.

    There was concern that the end product might be declared unconstitutional.

    Juneau Representative Sam Kito was asked about that on Action Line Thursday.

    "There is some concern about whether other bills are getting ruled into the crime bill and whether the single subject law or constitutional provision could be violated and so provisions that may violate single subject requirements are being reviewed now by the legal depart as we're in kind of our final review. We finished our amendments and as far as we can tell the bill will be constitutionally moved forward. It's a matter of those other provisions that had been considered, or had actually been added to the bill, whether or not they violate that single subject clause, and it seems as though we are getting that cleaned up."

    Kito, the lone member of the Legislative Council who opposed legal action over Governor Walker's decision to expand Medicaid in Alaska, is gratified to hear a recommendation from Senate Majority Leader John Coghill that the lawsuit be ended.

    "Hopefully we can save some money out of that. We'll have to see how that goes. At this point the decision for where to go with the lawsuit really rests with the entire legislature, as opposed to legislative council, because legislative council is the decision making body on lawsuits during the interim, but while we are in session that responsibility falls to the entire legislature. I do believe, as we tried to do a couple of weeks ago, it is really up to us as a legislature to make that decision with a vote of the entire body in the house and also in the senate."

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