Alaska Coastal Management Program Initiative Update

            As I’ve stated before, I’m fully supportive of the Statewide Ballot Initiative to bring back the Alaska Coastal Management Program (ACMP).  According to the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, the citizen initiative to establish an ACMP appears to have gathered more than the minimum number of qualified signatures required for a determination of proper filing, Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell announced earlier this month. The Division of Elections has determined that at least 25,875 qualified subscribers, from at least 30 out of 40 legislative districts, signed the initiative petition.

For legal reasons, all signatures that were submitted by petition sponsors on January 17, 2012 are still being reviewed by the Division of Elections.  The lieutenant governor has 60 days from the date the sponsors filed their petition to make a final determination of proper or improper filing.  In addition, all signatures on a petition for a ballot measure must be examined for purposes of voter registration list maintenance.  To my knowledge, the state election officials recently announced that sufficient signatures were qualified to put this initiative on this year’s ballot.

Upon a determination of proper filing, the initiative may appear on the next statewide general, special, or primary election that is held 120 days after a legislative session has convened and adjourned and a period of 120 days has expired since the adjournment of the legislative session.

According to the Juneau Empire, the House Majority Leader, Representative Alan Austerman recently introduced legislation, HB 285 to re-establish the coastal management plan which is substantially similar to the initiative.  However, it is still too early to predict the outcome of this particular piece of legislation.