Coastal management issue likely to come up next session

Despite the failure of Ballot Measure Two, Alaska could still reestablish its Coastal Management Program. Lawmakers on both sides of the vote expect to work on the issue again next legislative session.

Ketchikan Representative Kyle Johansen, who is facing a re-election challenge this fall, was glad voters turned-down the initiative. Johansen and other opponents have said they are in favor of having some sort of coastal management program…but not the one proposed in the initiative.

The measures opponents said, among other things, that it was too far reaching. With support from oil producers and other pro-development interests, the vote-no-on-two campaign was able to vastly outspend initiative backers who received most of their support from coastal towns and residents.

Juneau representative Beth Kertula was an outspoken advocate for the initiative, so she was disappointed by the result. But she’s hopeful that next session, lawmakers can agree on a bill that could still bring back the program, which sets up state standards to review development projects in coastal areas.

Nearly 62 percent of Alaska Voters said no to the Coastal Management initiative and just under 40 percent supported it.

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