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Lt. Gov. Treadwell Certifies Citizen Initiative for New Coastal Management Plan

December 6, 2011, Juneau, AK – Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell has certified an application for an initiative entitled “An Act establishing the Alaska Coastal Management Program” and has notified sponsor Bruce Botelho of Juneau.  The lieutenant governor examined the application and, with the advice of the Department of Law, determined it complies with the State of Alaska’s constitutional and statutory provisions governing the form of initiatives.

In accordance with Alaska Statute, the lieutenant governor and Division of Elections will prepare petition booklets for circulation containing a copy of the proposed bill, an impartial summary of the subject matter of the bill, a statement of minimum costs to the state associated with the initiative application and review of the initiative petition and an estimate of the cost to the state of implementing the proposed law.

Lieutenant Governor Treadwell held a meeting Monday to review input from agencies that would be affected by the proposed law, and Office of Management and Budget is compiling a cost estimate that includes estimates of start-up costs and the expense of creating a new coastal management program in the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.  The program which expired July 1 was administered by the Department of Natural Resources.

“We will have the cost estimate as soon as possible.  We are working to expedite the process to prepare petition booklets, while ensuring that Alaska voters have accurate and complete information on the cost of the initiative,” Treadwell said.

The sponsors must file the initiative petition within one year from the date notice is given that the petition booklets are ready for delivery to the sponsors.  Based on the 2010 general election, petition circulators will need to gather at least 25,875 signatures from qualified voters.  Signatures must come from qualified voters equal in number to 10 percent of those who voted in the preceding general election, who are resident in at least three-fourths of the house districts of the State, and who are equal in number to at least seven percent of those who voted in the preceding general election in the house district.

A new law requires the lieutenant governor to conduct public hearings in each of the four judicial districts at least 30 days before the election at which the initiative is to appear on the ballot. 

Today is the 60-day deadline for certification or rejection of the application.  The Office of the Lieutenant Governor received the application on October 7 and the measure has been under legal review since.  Treadwell said the Department of Law has identified a number of constitutional issues related to the proposed bill that may present challenges at a later time.  However, the application complies with the constitutional and statutory provisions governing the use of the initiative.

The Department of Law's legal opinion is available online at http://ltgov.state.ak.us/pdfs/elections/initiatives/2011/11ACMP-Law-2011-12-06.pdf.

The Lieutenant Governor's letter to the initiative's sponsors is available online at http://ltgov.state.ak.us/pdfs/elections/initiatives/2011/11ACMP-ApplicationCertification-2011-12-06.pdf.

The Division of Elections memorandum is available online at http://ltgov.state.ak.us/pdfs/elections/initiatives/2011/11ACMP-Elections-2011-10-27.pdf.

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