JUNEAU - The Senate passed a bill Wednesday to help shield Alaska sports and recreational companies and operators from liability lawsuits.
The bill sponsored by Sen. Ralph Seekins, a Fairbanks Republican, was up for reconsideration. Lawmakers approved it 13-7 after voting it down by one vote Tuesday.
The bill sets out in state law that people engaging in sports or recreational activities should be responsible for the inherent risk associated with those activities.
Sen. Robin Taylor, a Wrangell Republican, spoke out strongly against the bill. He said it would give a "free ride" to moneymaking enterprises that take people into dangerous areas while placing blame on innocent victims.
Seekins said the intent of the bill is to get people to accept responsibility for their own risky activities. He stressed again Wednesday that the bill would not protect negligent companies from lawsuits.
Seekins said the bill also is aimed at helping sports and recreation companies and operators avoid unfair lawsuits, and perhaps drive down the cost of rising liability insurance.