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.

Recent headlines

  • dollar bill money macro

    Per diems driving special session costs

    Lawmakers who represent areas outside Juneau receive $295 for each day of the special session. Juneau lawmakers receive $221.25 per day.
  • Caroline Hoover proudly pins an Alaska Territorial Guard medal on the front of her father's parka during an official discharge ceremony held Oct. 17 in Kipnuk, Alaska. David Martin is one of three surviving members of the Alaska Territorial Guard's Kipnuk unit. A total of 59 residents of Kipnuk, who volunteered to defend Alaska in the event of a Japanese invasion during World War II, were recognized during the ceremony. Kipnuk residents who served with the Alaska Territorial Guard from 1942-1947 were members of a U.S. Army component organized in response to attacks by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. (Photo by Jerry Walton, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs cultural resource manager and native liaison/public domain/Wikimedia Commons)

    16 Alaska Territorial Guard vets to be honored in Anchorage

    Sixteen veterans of the Alaska Territorial Guard will be honored at a discharge ceremony today. Four of them are from Western Alaska.
  • Don Andrew Roguska looks out from an upstairs window of an historic Juneau house he bought in 2016 to restore. Zoning regulations have prevented him from rebuilding in the same style. (Photo by Jacob Resneck/KTOO)

    Juneau mulls relaxing zoning rules for historic houses

    The historic houses in Juneau and Douglas were predominately built by miners and fishermen long before today's zoning was put into place. That's prevented homeowners from restoring or rebuilding homes in these neighborhoods without running into conflict with the city's zoning laws -- a temporary fix may be on the way.
  • Young joins Afghanistan war skeptics in Congress

    Alaska U.S. Rep. Don Young wants to know why Americans are still fighting in Afghanistan. He has co-sponsored a bill that would end funding for the war in a year, unless the president and Congress affirm the need for it.