Gov. Walker signs crime bill passed in special session

ANCHORAGE — Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has signed a crime bill passed this month during a special legislative session.

Lawmakers acted in response to a public outcry over crime and concerns that arose from a criminal justice overhaul approved last year.

Walker, an independent, says the new measure is a first step in returning important tools to law enforcement.

The bill changes presumptive sentencing ranges for Class C felonies.

First offenses change from a probationary sentence to a jail term of zero to 2 years.

The law creates a new graduated sentencing structure for theft of property valued at less than $250.

Violating conditions of release returns the offense to a misdemeanor and clarifies that a person may be arrested and held until bail is set on the new offense.