House Bill (HB) 214, the bill to officially name the “dating violence” part of the Alaska Safe Children’s Act as Bree’s Law, has more support by the Alaska Legislature than any other bill. With 100% approval in the house, 14 out of 20 senate co-sponsors, and supported by Governor Bill Walker, that’s 55 out of 61 of our elected state officials. It is now up to our 20 senators to pass the bill – right? Surely this bill will pass…
Nope, not so fast… don’t get too excited just yet. This bill is now being stopped by one senator who wants to spoil everyone’s fun and rain on the parade yet once again. If everyone in the state agrees on one thing, he will certainly be the one to stop it. Apparently this one senator wants to spread discord when somebody says, “Can’t we all just get along?” Senator John Coghill is waiting to spoil it for all of us.
Yes, HB 214 is being stopped by one person, Senator John Coghill. He will not give it a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs.
In 2015, Cindy and I worked to pass Bree’s Law. It was eventually named the Alaska Safe Children’s Act. HB 214 will add the words, “Bree’s Law” into statute. Since 2015 we have been working with parents, teachers, students, legislators, the State of Alaska and various organizations/agencies. Some of these include: Abused Woman’s Aid in Crisis (AWAIC), Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), Anchorage School District (ASD), Southcentral Foundation, Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (ANDVSA), Victim’s for Justice, The Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (CDVSA), Governor Bill Walker’s office, The Department of Education and Early Development (DEED), along with many other schools and school districts.
The 2017 Alaska Youth Risk Behavior Survey reported teen dating violence and sexual assault numbers in Alaska dropped by 1,514 reported cases in 2017, nearly half the number that was in the 2015 report. What we are all doing with Bree’s Law is working. Perhaps Bree’s greatest accomplishment has come in her death – shedding a light on dating violence here in Alaska and rallying all of us together to help prevent it.
There is NO downside to passing HB 214. There is NO fiscal note. There is NO funding needed. There is no money to talk about. There are only lives to be saved.
This has been incredibly difficult for our family. No parent should have to bury their child. In light of the horrible comments Senator Coghill recently made recently to KTVA (Senate leader putting hold on Bree’s Law bill) about Bree, myself and her mother, I can no longer be diplomatic and political about this. What Senator Coghill said was not only wrong, it was hurtful and mean.
The one thing we have found throughout this process is that yes, there are people out there claiming to be good people. They will make excuses for their actions, debate their motives and attempt to diminish the damage they cause. They dig their heels in, only to explain away and defend what, at the end of the day, is simply a bad decision. They will say bad things, because their hearts are, well, I don’t know.
No, good people don’t stop life saving legislation. And good people don’t defend people who do.
Do you want to stop the abusing and killing of women and girls in Alaska?
You’re going to have to make a choice here.
Yes… There’s going to be a vote. And Alaskans will be watching.
Butch Moore is the father of Bree Moore.