Juneau House districts submit 5,800+ signatures for SB21 referendum

Signature gatherers for the effort to repeal Senate Bill 21 in Juneau’s two House districts have submitted more than 5,850 signatures.

That’s almost five times the minimum threshold needed for House Districts 31 and 32 to count toward a geographic diversity requirement in the referendum process; at least 30 of the state’s 40 House districts must submit a minimum number of signatures equal to 7 percent of the voters in the last general election. For Juneau’s two House districts, that means 1,261 signatures.

State law also requires a minimum of 30,169 signatures for the repeal question to appear on statewide ballots in 2014.

Saturday is the deadline for submitting signatures. Most of Juneau’s signature booklets were mailed off earlier this week, so here, “essentially, it’s over,” says local organizer Gordon Harrison.

The state legislature passed SB21, the oil and gas tax cut bill, in April. Governor Sean Parnell signed it into law in May. It’s meant to spur new production and economic growth. But petition organizers fear the tax cut gives up too much state revenue – estimated in the billions of dollars over the next five years – and are skeptical of the touted economic benefits.

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