Issues

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Alaskans deserve better and we can do better. 

Kevin-meyer-on-the-issues

Leadership for Alaska

Alaska has suffered from a leadership “deficit” the last several years. Governor Walker is not ideologically aligned with Alaskans on the major issues facing our state. Our party’s mission has been smaller government, cutting spending and opposing taxes. Governor Walker has never tried to reform the way government works. He has rejected our efforts to cut spending and has proposed major broad-based taxes on Alaskans. Kevin believes it is imperative we elect a strong Republican Governor and Lt. Governor Team to provide conservative leadership for Alaska.

Crime

Crime statues are fluid – the nature of crime in Alaska, or anywhere, changes as criminals find ways around laws. This is why Kevin has made it a point to address crime head-on throughout his legislative career. It has been more than just rhetoric; it has been action. And Kevin has the record to show it.


Since 2001, Kevin has sponsored over 23 crime related bills and resolutions directed at the pressing issues of harassment, minor consumption of alcohol, bullying, synthetic drugs, sexual assault, and exploitation of minors, among others. While not all of these efforts were successful, it demonstrates his desire to make Alaskans feel safe in the state they love.

Of all the legislation Kevin worked on during his career, the one he is most proud of is the passage of his bill relating to statute of limitations for those who commit sexual assault and/or sexual abuse of minors.

This bill, which became effective in October of 2001, removed the statute of limitations and allows the State to bring action against an offender at any time for the crimes of sexual assault or sexual abuse of a minor. Kevin believed then, as he does now, that a just society holds people accountable for their crimes against children, and that the passage of time does not exonerate someone for answering for these awful actions.

Most recently, Kevin took the lead in addressing some of the shortcomings of SB 91. While the Senate started to fix some of the issues in the Special Sessions of 2017, with SB 54, that work continued with an omnibus crime bill created in the Senate Rules Committee. HB 312 is the crime bill that removes instances when a judge must release a defendant on their own recognizance and allows judges to consider out-of-state criminal histories when determining bail conditions. Additionally, House Bill 312 contains a vast array of provisions that also impact how the Attorney General classifies controlled substances – a key in fighting the growing drug epidemic.

One of the most controversial aspects of SB 91 was the development and use of a pretrial assessment tool that uses data to determine a person’s chance of reoffending while they wait for their trial. Part of that tool was a mandatory provision that required judges to release defendants charged with either low- risk class-C felonies or low-risk and moderate-risk misdemeanors. Many have argued that this system
empowered criminals to keep offending without risk of jail time. Changes passed in HB 312 now gives our state judges discretion when to keep a person in custody for low-level offenses -- no more catch and release for these lower level crimes––giving control back to the criminal justice system, instead of the criminals.

The 2018 Budget

Kevin has always favored making government more efficient, more responsive to the needs of the people, and responsible to the people it serves. This means when money gets tight, we need to eliminate unnecessary programs and services and get to a sustainable budget for all Alaskans. Kevin’s efforts in the budget subcommittee process shows his commitment to finding the right-size of government. Each of Kevin’s subcommittees recommended cuts to the budget and did their part to protect needed services while finding ways to become more effective in delivering state programs.

We need to be thinking about the long-term and ensure a level of stability for our economy. That is why Kevin is 100% behind the Senate’s effort to institute a spending cap. This year the Senate passed SB 196, Alaska’s Appropriation Limit, and demonstrated a strong desire to rein in spending even in years of high revenue growth.

Kevin also sponsored legislation that could require a public vote on any statewide broad-based tax. He believes such a massive shift in public policy should require the input of those who will be most affected by it.

Our Economy

Alaska’s economy has been severely weakened by the slump in global oil prices. Jobs are being lost across Alaska and unemployment has risen to new highs. Kevin believes state government must not take steps that will further weaken the economy and has fought efforts to impose new broad-based state taxes.

Kevin believes in fostering innovation, increasing competition and promoting free market principles in order to grow our economy. The spirit that existed in Alaska at statehood – the spirit to build, to grow, to create a strong economy – is the same spirit we need now to move our state forward.

Fiscal Challenge

The lack of a comprehensive solution to our fiscal issues is simply a function of the tough issues we face. The reality is there has been no “gridlock” in the State Senate. The Senate produced and passed a fiscal plan based on budget reductions, spending limits that limit the growth of government for the long term, and ensuring Alaskans receive a Permanent Fund Dividend. Kevin and his fellow Republican Senate colleagues held to conservative principles and stood firm against the Governor and the Democrats who fought to impose new taxes on Alaskans and failed to cut the budget. Electing a new Republican Governor and Lt. Governor is vital to enforcing fiscal discipline in the executive branch.

Election Security

An important role of Alaska’s Lt. Governor is oversight of the state Division of Elections. As Lt. Governor, Kevin is committed to ensuring we have open and fair elections so that all Alaskans across the state can exercise their right to vote. Kevin will put a priority on ensuring the integrity of the voting process, so Alaskans can have full confidence in the outcome of elections. In addition, Kevin recognizes
technological innovation is driving inevitable change in how we cast our ballots and will ensure the state moves in a prudent and thoughtful manner to implement changes while safeguarding the sanctity of the ballot.