Alaska Statehood Act, Measure 1 (1996)
The Alaska Statehood Act Amendment, also known as Measure 1, was on the November 5, 1996 ballot in Alaska as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure defined "how the state would agree to a change to the Alaska Statehood Act."
|Alaska Measure 1 (1996)|
Election results via: Alaska Department of Elections
Text of measure
The language appeared on the ballot as:
|“|| This proposed amendment to Alaska's Constitution defines how the state would agree to a change to the Alaska Statehood Act. This amendment provides that any changes to the Statehood Act proposed by Congress must be approved in one of two ways: 1) By a majority vote of Alaskan voters in an election, or 2) By a two-thirds vote of the state legislature.
Should this Constitutional amendment be adopted?
A vote "FOR" adopts the amendment. [ ]
Drue Pearce, President of the Alaska Senate, wrote the official ballot guide supporting argument for Measure 1. He wrote:
|“||The Statehood Compact is a contract that was entered into between the federal government and the people of Alaska at Statehood in 1958. It set forth the conditions and provisions through which Alaska would be admitted to the Union as the 49th state. Before the Compact was finalized, it had to be agreed to and voted upon by the people of Alaska. The Compact protects important rights granted to Alaskans like oil lease royalties and the people's interest in Alaska's resources.
Despite its importance to the public, Alaska's Statehood Compact was not coupled with a method for future amend- ments. In 1976, the Legislature passed a law requiring legislative or popular approval of any federal changes to the Compact before they would become effective.
The measure before you today seeks to take some of that important power out of the hands of the Legislature and return it to the people. If the Statehood Compact is to be changed -- and important rights affecting all Alaskans along with it -- the people should be allowed to vote on the changes. Just as the Constitution requires voter approval before it can be changed, so too should the Statehood Compact.
If you vote to adopt this measure, any change to the Statehood Compact affecting Alaska would have to either be voted on by the public on a ballot like this one, or be approved by a "super majority" of the Legislature, which is 2/3 of each house, as opposed to the usual simple majority that is required to amend ordinary laws.
Important rights are at stake here. Rights that could affect you and your family significantly. In fact, right now, there is litigation going on between the State of Alaska and the federal government over the amount of oil lease revenues the state was promised in the Statehood Compact. If we win the lawsuit, it could mean tens of billions of dollars for the state, which would obviously benefit us all. If the federal government prevails, we get nothing -- all because Congress chose to change the terms of the Compact and give Alaska less oil lease money than was originally promised.
Don't give the federal government the ability to rearrange the Statehood Compact as they see fit. Vote YES to keep those important decisions in the hands of Alaskan voters. Then, the next time a federal law comes along proposing to cut Alaska's income under the Compact, you, the voter, will have something to say about it.
- Alaska Department of Elections, "BALLOT MEASURE NO. 1: Constitutional Amendment Concerning Statehood Act Changes," accessed February 3, 2015
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
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