Governor Sean Parnell says he’s in favor of letting a citizen’s initiative to restore the Alaska Coastal Management Program go to voters.
The program, which gave the state and local communities greater input into federal permitting decisions, closed last year after the administration and legislators failed to reach an agreement to reauthorize it.
A group calling itself the Alaska Sea Party collected signatures for the initiative, which legislators can pre-empt by passing substantially similar legislation this session.
Parnell says lawmakers had their chance.
“My position has been, let the people decide,” the governor told reporters in Juneau today. “This has been something that has been worked diligently in these halls. Now our constitution provides a mechanism by which the people can have their say. It’s been certified. I say let it go to the people.”
Technically, the Division of Elections is still reviewing signatures for the initiative. But Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell – whose office oversees elections – said last week that sponsors had collected enough qualified signatures to put the measure on the ballot.
Juneau Mayor Bruce Botelho is prime sponsor of the initiative and chairman of the Alaska Sea Party.
- A lawsuit filed in federal court this week seeks to remove the residency requirement for people gathering signatures for state ballot initiatives.
- For the second time in two years, a Skagway political figure has been ordered to pay a fine for incomplete financial disclosures. Assembly hopeful Dan Henry failed to disclose substantial debt on his candidate paperwork. He will still be able to run for office in the upcoming election.
- Administration officials have a mouthful of a name for it: the “capped hybrid head tax.” It's a flat 1.5 percent of wages and self-employment income, with a maximum of twice the value of that year's Alaska Permanent Fund dividend.
- A federal district court has sided with conservationists fighting to preserve the U.S. Forest Service's "roadless rule" that limits road building in national forests. Alaska conservationists opposed to expanded logging in Tongass National Forest hailed the ruling as a victory.