Jordan Shilling, aide to Sen. John Coghill, talks about the meaning of justice during a hearing on an omnibus crime bill designed to overhaul the state's criminal justice system on March 29, 2016, in Juneau, Alaska. At left is Brenda Stanfill, of Fairbanks, Alaska, an advocate for victim's rights on the Alaska's Criminal Justice Commission. (Rashah McChesney, AP)

These Alaska lawmakers want to fund recidivism reduction with pot taxes

JUNEAU, Alaska — Sweeping changes proposed to the state’s criminal justice system could be funded by revenue collected from the state’s legal marijuana industry.

The Senate Finance Committee has proposed a recidivism reduction fund filled annually with 50 percent of revenue from pot taxes. That money could fund institutional changes and programs proposed for corrections, health and social services and public safety.

The criminal justice overhaul is designed to keep Alaska’s prison population down and lower the number of repeat offenders.

Committee co-chair Sen. Anna MacKinnon says her committee got a best guess estimate from Gov. Bill Walker’s administration on potential marijuana revenue. They’ve estimated $3 million going into the fund next year and $6 million annually through 2022.

The state has legalized recreational pot and regulators are in the process of accepting applications for marijuana businesses.