The group behind a citizens’ initiative to re-establish an Alaska Coastal Management Program plans to have signature gatherers in every corner of the state.
Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell approved the Alaska Sea Party’s initiative application yesterday. Organizers expect to receive petition packets in about a week, and will need 25,875 signatures to put the measure on next year’s statewide ballot.
Lead Sponsor, Juneau Mayor Bruce Botelho says the group wants that many signatures before the start of the legislative session on January 17th. That would give lawmakers an opportunity to adopt “substantially similar” legislation instead of putting the issue to a vote.
“We are organized. We await the booklets and we will have a presence in every district in the state,” Botelho says.
He declined to say how “substantially similar” any potential legislation would need to be to meet the group’s approval. But he said the initiative language would “set a benchmark.” Botelho said the Sea Party will likely spend about 150-thousand dollars on the petition gathering effort.
The Alaska Coastal Management Program provided one-stop state and federal permitting for developers seeking to build projects along Alaska’s vast coastline. It also gave local communities input during the permitting process.
Without it, initiative co-sponsor, Kodiak Island Borough Mayor Jerome Selby, says more communities will resort to litigation.
“If we don’t have a coastal zone program, we then have react to a decision that has already been made. And as everyone knows, that’s a much more difficult task to try to change a decision that has been made and finalized by the federal government. And realistically about the only effective way of doing that is through lawsuit,” says Selby.
The coastal management program shut down this summer after legislators and the Parnell administration failed to reach an agreement to reauthorize it during the regular and special legislative sessions.
The governor’s office says it will not introduce a bill to re-establish the program, and in an e-mail pointed to a permitting office within the Department of Natural Resources that “allows communities to weigh in numerous times for each project under review.”
- During his first year in Iraq, Richard Marshall drove 96 combat missions. He left at the end of 2007 and he returned in 2010. He also worked on contract in Afghanistan for two and a half years.
- Watch Caleb Klauder and Reeb Wilms peform a Red Carpet Concert during the 2017 Alaska Folk Festival
- Our weekly education news roundup: Trump administration unveils its 2018 budget proposal; DeVos talks school choice in Indianapolis, then faces a grilling from lawmakers.
- DOD inspectors declined the offer and "at no time viewed the remains" during a review of the mortuary at Dover Air Force Base. The Air Force says it will investigate the incident.