State attorneys are appealing a judge’s decision to allow a controversial ballot initiative to move forward.
The Department of Law filed a notice of appeal on Friday, asking the Supreme Court to reverse the lower court’s opinion.
In a media release, State Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth said the question of whether the ballot initiative is unconstitutional should be answered by the Supreme Court.
The initiative would go on the 2018 ballot, and would ask voters to strengthen the state’s permitting requirements for projects that could interfere with salmon streams.
Essentially the initiative would establish two tracks of development permits — one for small projects, another for large ones. Developers would have to prove that the projects wouldn’t damage salmon habitat.
Last month, Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott rejected the initiative, saying it would force the state legislature to protect salmon over other types of resource development, like mining.
The state’s argument is that the Legislature should have the power to allocate state assets among competing uses, like salmon and mining or dam development.
The state argues that the initiative is too broad and could halt development of roads, pipelines and the proposed Pebble Mine.
The group behind the ballot initiative — Stand for Salmon — says the initiative isn’t designed to prohibit development. They argue that it would just strengthen the permitting process.
- A pair of Sitka adventurers has just wrapped up a six-year odyssey in their own backyard. Eric Speck and Dan Evans are likely the first people to walk the length of Baranof Island, north-to-south. They did the trip in segments — hiking a total of 32 days — through some of the most rugged terrain on the planet.
- Technology that removes fine particulates from wood and coal stove smoke is being readied for testing in North Pole as part of a citizen science project.
- According to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, 58 percent of Americans celebrating the holiday dread having to talk politics around the dinner table this holiday, an uptick from one year ago.
- Two Capitol reporters say they witnessed the senator putting his cellphone between a female staffer's legs in a public hallway. The senator denies it.