Letter: Take closer look at 'Savanna's Act'
To the editor, It is often the case with federal legislation that the titles and the hype urging passage of bills omit much of the significant content of the act. This appears to be true of S 1942, 115th Congress, titled "Savanna's Act." Sen. Hei...
To the editor,
It is often the case with federal legislation that the titles and the hype urging passage of bills omit much of the significant content of the act. This appears to be true of S 1942, 115th Congress, titled "Savanna's Act."
Sen. Heitkamp repeatedly said the bill was directed at "missing and murdered indigenous women." This is also stated in a front-page Herald article (Dec. 28: " Alaska senator vows to continue effort ").
However, even a cursory review of the text of the bill discloses that the purpose of the bill is not just for Indian women but for "Indians" not limited to women. The contents of the bill are directed not just at "missing and murdered" but at enhancing the safety of Indian women from domestic violence, sexual assault, date rape, and sex trafficking.
Overall, the bill can be read as imposing additional duties on federal, state and local law enforcement for any crimes against Indians anywhere in the United States. Keep in mind that Savanna Greywind, for whom the bill was named, was murdered off the reservation, that the murderer was arrested, convicted and is currently in prison.
To achieve these ends, the legislation imposes a number of developmental requirements of various protocols and numerous onerous reporting requirements for state, federal and local law enforcement agencies. I wonder that those agencies haven't set forth some objections.
In addition to the above, the proposed legislation is glaringly nonspecific and open-ended, which will likely result in lawsuits and at least a hundred pages in the Federal Code of Regulations.
I encourage folks to read this bill; I have a hunch that a lot of legislators have not. Whether the legislation should be adopted or not is a decision for elected representatives. In my opinion, the general public should be told the complete truth about bills, not just the hype of those seeking to have legislation enacted.
John D. Sens