Juneau, Alaska (KINY) Another court case is likely in the battle over a ballot question that is designed to protect
salmon streams and habitat in Southeast Alaska.
Monday, members of the Alaska Senate Majority urged Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott to appeal the recent ruling allowing an unconstitutional initiative to proceed. “We stand behind the lieutenant governor’s original rejection of an initiative that proposes ballot box allocation,” Sen. Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage), chair of the Senate Resources Committee said, “A careful evaluation by state attorneys made it clear that this initiative is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court needs to hear the facts.”
Initiative 17FSH2, also known as the ‘Stand for Salmon Initiative,’ applied to gather signatures and appear on the ballot of next year’s election. After a thorough review process, the lieutenant governor denied certification on September 12. The initiative’s sponsors appealed in court, and an initial ruling by an Anchorage judge contradicted the lieutenant governor’s decision. “Alaska’s constitution wisely leaves resource management to professional biologists, not the ballot box,” said Sen. Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna), Majority Leader of the Alaska Senate. “Allocating access through bumper sticker campaigns endangers every Alaskan’s right to work and right to fish. Just as the Cook Inlet setnet initiative was ruled unconstitutional, I encourage the Walker administration to appeal this decision immediately.”
The state has not yet decided to appeal the case. “Like many Alaskans, salmon is my livelihood and the food on my table,” said Sen. Micciche. “I call upon all legislators to work together in understanding a proper balance between healthy fish habitat and responsible resource development.”
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