Legislative briefs

House passes bill to OK deadly force in public

JUNEAU -- The Alaska House has passed legislation that would allow a person to use deadly force when threatened in public.

House Bill 80, which passed 33-6, now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Republican Rep. Mark Neuman of Wasilla revived the proposal after it stalled in the Legislature last year. Currently, if people are threatened in public, they are required to retreat if they can do so safety. People are allowed to fight back in self-defense in places like their homes or workplaces.

The bill would expand that to anywhere the person has a right to be.

Neuman says the bill places the duty to retreat on the person threatening harm. He says that if Alaskans are in life-threatening situations, they shouldn't have to worry about the legal consequences of protecting themselves.

House committee advances tourism bill

JUNEAU -- The Alaska House Finance Committee has forwarded to the floor a compromise measure governing the long-term funding of a tourism marketing program.

House bill 160 mandates that a tourism trade organization contracted by the state match at least 50 percent of the state's investment in a marketing program.

Alaska's investment under the proposal may not exceed more than $12 million.

Under a previous version of the measure, the state would have paid two-thirds of the cost of the marketing program in the first two years.

Wasilla Republican Bill Stoltze, the Finance Committee co-chair, says his committee's version of the bill was a compromise that had the best hope of passage.

Bill would double size of Southeast forest

JUNEAU -- Supporters of a move to vastly expand a state forest say it would help preserve timber jobs in southeast Alaska.

The House has approved a measure that would allow the Southeast State Forest to nearly double in size. The bill now goes to the Senate. It would add 23,000 acres to the forest, which was created last year with just over 25,000 acres.