Alaska coastal management program proposal quickly burning through legislature
As previously reported, on February 17, a bill similar to the Alaska coastal management initiative was introduced to the Alaska House of Representatives. According to reports, the action indicates that lawmakers are keen on enacting legislation rather than having the proposal sent to voters. Reports also say that at least eight House lawmakers have signed on to the bill.
According to reports on March 15, since the mid-February proposal was introduced, it seems more likely that lawmakers will propose and enact a law regarding to program.
Supporters of the initiative had to have collected 25,875 signatures by the January 17 petition drive deadline, which they did. The measure was then sent to the state legislature for review. If the legislature does not decide to enact a similar bill, the measure will then be placed on the 2012 primary ballot in August.
The measure would establish a new coastal management program in the state. It was submitted to the Lieutenant Governor's office during the week of October 5, 2011 by Juneau Mayor Bruce Botelho and other supporters of the initiative. Specifically, the management program that would be established would be formally called the Alaska Coastal Zone Management Program.
Alaska is the only coastal state in the country without a federal coastal management plan, according to reports. Coastal programs are established to guarantee state and local participation in federal decisions on coastal issues that could potentially surface.