Will initiative to move legislature pass muster? - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, October 26, 2021
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Will initiative to move legislature pass muster?

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The lieutenant governor’s office has until this Friday to approve or deny An Initiative Requiring Meetings of the Alaska Legislature to be Held in Anchorage” petition application, which was filed on Feb. 4, 2019.

Word among people familiar with the petition application is that the initiative language meets all the legal requirements and is likely to be approved.

Approval would allow the sponsors of it to proceed to gather signatures. To make it on the next statewide ballot, the initiative would require at least 28,501 signatures in petition booklets, coming from 30 House districts. Each House district would require signatures from at least 7 percent of the number who voted in the preceding General Election in the district.

The initiative calls for the meetings of the Alaska Legislature to be held in Anchorage, and because it doesn’t refer to moving the actual capital, the Frank Initiative would not apply. The Frank Initiatives is Alaska Statute 44.06.050 through 44.06.606 requiring the full cost of moving the capital to be disclosed to voters during a vote on any capital move.

David W. Bronson, Camille O. Carlson, and Leona E. Oberts are the initiative’s primary sponsors.

(The application review deadline is April 5, 2019. Earlier, it was reported to be April 8, but it was later determined by the Lieutenant Governor’s Office and determined to be April 5.)

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • The only reason our “astute” legislators would vote against this is so they can keep their constituents from standing in front of them with their opinions. Those anti-Alaskans love it that way. No need to “pay the piper”, when all the constituents can do is phone in. That (phoning) lacks the impact of a personal, face to face, debate. Opinions, being what they are, will likely be ignored if the constituents with anti-liberal opinions can be kept “swept under the legislative rug”, by being too remote for most Alaskans to afford to attend. Many Alaskans have long been advocating for more access to the legislature and associated undertakings by politicians and have been long ignored. Time for that to change. Tell me where to sign.

  • I’m in. Capital stays, legislature goes. Of course a hit to the Juneau economy, but they will survive. They are a clever and industrious bunch in the Capital City. Many locals will salute and say “good riddance”. I agree Ben, some legislators won’t like it one bit to actually have to face their constituents on a daily basis during the session, but the ones that aren’t doing anything nefarious won’t mind at all.
    Come on up House and Senate! Bring it on!

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