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Veto of coastal funding throws twist in ballot measure campaign

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May 30, 2012

By Al Ortiz

JUNEAU, Alaska:
During the week of May 17, 2012, it was reported that Alaska Governor Sean Parnell vetoed funding for a new Coastal Management program, if the coastal management initiative slated for the August ballot is approved by voters. According to reports, that means that if the initiative is enacted, it will take about a year to start the program up.

According to State Representative Beth Kerttula, who supporters the measure, "You need to have money there to get that program up and running. To cut that seems spiteful to me."

However, on the other hand, according to Gov. Parnell, “In our state’s history, to our knowledge, we have never pre-funded an initiative."[1]

The initiative 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.

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