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Monday, May 12, 2003

Finally, some Patriotism in Juneau we can be proud of

House resolution seeks fix to Patriot Act

The Associated Press

JUNEAU (May 12, 6:15 p.m. ADT) - The state House is asking the federal government to fix parts of the USA Patriot Act that may infringe on civil liberties.
The resolution approved Monday also tells state agencies they should not help the federal government with investigations that could violate people's rights unless they have reason to suspect criminal activity.
"The resolution states the efforts to fight terrorism must not be waged at the expense of civil rights and liberties of the people of the state of Alaska and the United States," said Rep. David Guttenberg, D-Fairbanks.
"We're not trying to back off on the fight on terrorism," he added.
Guttenberg co-sponsored the measure with House Majority Leader John Coghill, R-North Pole.
House Joint Resolution 22 says the state supports the fight against terrorism that led to passage of the federal law in 2001. But it urges federal lawmakers to go back and fix parts of the law that infringe on civil liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.
The measure also says state agencies may not participate in investigations unless there's reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
That prohibition includes recording and sharing information on a person's library records, bookstore records, medical records and other personal data even if authorized by the federal law.
"We're just not comfortable with them collecting information, etcetera, on people that are law-abiding citizens," Coghill said.
The measure also says state agencies may not use state resources to enforce federal immigration laws and may not collect information about political, religious or social views of individuals or groups unless that directly relates to a criminal investigation. It also says the state may not engage in racial profiling.
The measure passed the House 32-1, with Rep. Bob Lynn, R-Anchorage, voting no. The measure now goes to the Senate.

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