Alaska, USA, regional Popular or citizens initiative [PCI] - Initiative

General Typology

Instrument
Popular or citizens initiative [PCI]
Location
Alaska, USA
Political level
regional
Local Name:
Initiative
Normative Level:
constitutional
Legally Binding:
yes
Legally Defined:

The Constitution of the State of Alaska
Article 11 - Initiative, Referendum, and Recall

1. Initiative and Referendum

The people may propose and enact laws by the initiative, and approve or reject acts of the legislature
by the referendum.

2. Application

An initiative or referendum is proposed by an application containing the bill to be initiated or the act to be referred. The application shall be signed by not less than one hundred qualified voters as sponsors, and shall be filed with the lieutenant governor. If he finds it in proper form he shall so certify. Denial of certification shall be subject to judicial review. [Amended 1970]

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4. Initiative Election

An initiative petition may be filed at any time. The lieutenant governor shall prepare a ballot title and proposition summarizing the proposed law, and shall place them on the ballot for the first statewide election held more than one hundred twenty days after adjournment of the legislative session following the filing. If, before the election, substantially the same measure has been enacted, the petition is void. [Amended 1970]

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6. Enactment

If a majority of the votes cast on the proposition favor its adoption, the initiated measure is enacted. If a majority of the votes cast on the proposition favor the rejection of an act referred, it is rejected. The lieutenant governor shall certify the election returns. An initiated law becomes effective ninety days after certification, is not subject to veto, and may not be repealed by the legislature within two years of its effective date. It may be amended at any time. An act rejected by referendum is void thirty days after certification. Additional procedures for the initiative and referendum may be prescribed by law. [Amended 1970]

Subject Matter:

Enacting laws via initiative

Actors

Author:
Citizen
Initiator:
Electorate : Application for a petition requires more than 100 signatures of qualified voters. After the application is certified, a summary of the petition by the Lieutenant Governor must be signed by at least 10% of the number of voters who voted in the last general election, by voters in at least three-quarters of the house districts, and by at least seven percent of the number of voters who voted in the last general election in these districts. (Alaska Constitution, Article XI, Section 3; Alaska Statutes, 15.45.030)
Decision maker:
Electorate

Requirements

Number Of Signatures:
10% of the number of voters in the last general election
Available Time:
1 year
Turnout Quorum:
The legal source does not mention a turnout quorum
Approval Quorum:
The legal source does not mention a specific approval quorum
Geographical Quorum:
Legal source does not mention geographical quorum for passing the initiative. See "Other formal requirements" for the geographical quorum regarding collecting signatures.
Excluded Issues:

The Constitution of the State of Alaska
Article 11 - Initiative, Referendum, and Recall

§ 7. Restrictions

The initiative shall not be used to dedicate revenues, make or repeal appropriations, create courts, define the jurisdiction of courts or prescribe their rules, or enact local or special legislation. [...]

Other Formal Requirements:

The Constitution of the State of Alaska
Article 11 - Initiative, Referendum, and Recall

§ 3. Petition

After certification of the application, a petition containing a summary of the subject matter shall be prepared by the lieutenant governor for circulation by the sponsors. If signed by qualified voters who are equal in number to at least ten per cent of those who voted in the preceding general election, who are resident in at least three-fourths of the house districts of the State, and who, in each of those house districts, are equal in number to at least seven percent of those who voted in the preceding general election in the house district, it may be filed with the lieutenant governor. [Amended 1970, 1998 & 2004]

Alaska Statutes

Chapter 15.45. INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM, AND RECALL
Article 01. INITIATIVE

Sec. 15.45.020. Filing application.
An initiative is proposed by filing an application with the lieutenant governor. A deposit of $100 must accompany the application. This deposit shall be retained if a petition is not properly filed. If a petition is properly filed, the deposit shall be refunded.

Sec. 15.45.030. Form of application.
The application must include the
(1) proposed bill;
(2) printed name, the signature, the address, and a numerical identifier of not fewer than 100 qualified voters who will serve as sponsors; each signature page must include a statement that the sponsors are qualified voters who signed the application with the proposed bill attached; and
(3) designation of an initiative committee consisting of three of the sponsors who subscribed to the application and represent all sponsors and subscribers in matters relating to the initiative; the designation must include the name, mailing address, and signature of each committee member.

Sec. 15.45.140. Filing of petition.
(a) The sponsors must file the initiative petition within one year from the time the sponsors received notice from the lieutenant governor that the petitions were ready for delivery to them. The petition may be filed with the lieutenant governor only if it meets all of the following requirements: it is signed by qualified voters
(1) equal in number to 10 percent of those who voted in the preceding general election;
(2) resident in at least three-fourths of the house districts of the state; and
(3) who, in each of the house districts described in (2) of this subsection, are equal in number to at least seven percent of those who voted in the preceding general election in the house district.
(b) If the petition is not filed within the one-year period provided for in (a) of this section, the petition has no force or effect.

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
free
Specify Collection Mode:

Alaska Statutes

Chapter 15.45. INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM, AND RECALL
Article 01. INITIATIVE

Sec. 15.45.090. Preparation of petition.
(a) If the application is certified, the lieutenant governor shall prepare a sufficient number of sequentially numbered petitions to allow full circulation throughout the state. Each petition must contain
(1) a copy of the proposed bill;
(2) an impartial summary of the subject matter of the bill;
(3) a statement of minimum costs to the state associated with certification of the initiative application and review of the initiative petition, excluding legal costs to the state and the costs to the state of any challenge to the validity of the petition;
(4) an estimate of the cost to the state of implementing the proposed law;
(5) the statement of warning prescribed in AS 15.45.100 ;
(6) sufficient space for the printed name, a numerical identifier, the signature, the date of signature, and the address of each person signing the petition; and
(7) other specifications prescribed by the lieutenant governor to ensure proper handling and control.
(b) Upon request of the initiative committee, the lieutenant governor shall report to the committee the number of persons who voted in the preceding general election.

Sec. 15.45.100. Statement of warning.
Each petition shall include a statement of warning that a person who signs a name other than the person's own on the petition, or who knowingly signs more than once for the same proposition at one election, or who signs the petition when knowingly not a qualified voter, is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

Sec. 15.45.130. Certification of circulator.
Before being filed, each petition shall be certified by an affidavit by the person who personally circulated the petition. In determining the sufficiency of the petition, the lieutenant governor may not count subscriptions on petitions not properly certified at the time of filing or corrected before the subscriptions are counted. The affidavit must state in substance
(1) that the person signing the affidavit meets the residency, age, and citizenship qualifications for circulating a petition under AS 15.45.105;
(2) that the person is the only circulator of that petition;
(3) that the signatures were made in the circulator's actual presence;
(4) that, to the best of the circulator's knowledge, the signatures are the signatures of the persons whose names they purport to be;
(5) that, to the best of the circulator's knowledge, the signatures are of persons who were qualified voters on the date of signature;
(6) that the circulator has not entered into an agreement with a person or organization in violation of AS 15.45.110 (c);
(7) that the circulator has not violated AS 15.45.110 (d) with respect to that petition; and
(8) whether the circulator has received payment or agreed to receive payment for the collection of signatures on the petition, and, if so, the name of each person or organization that has paid or agreed to pay the circulator for collection of signatures on the petition.

Wording Of Ballot Question:

Alaska Statutes

Chapter 15.45. INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM, AND RECALL
Article 01. INITIATIVE

Sec. 15.45.180. Preparation of ballot title and proposition.
(a) If the petition is properly filed, the lieutenant governor, with the assistance of the attorney general, shall prepare a ballot title and proposition. The ballot title shall, in not more than 25 words, indicate the general subject of the proposition. The proposition shall give a true and impartial summary of the proposed law. The total number of words used in the summary may not exceed the product of the number of sections in the proposed law multiplied by 50. In this subsection, "section" means a provision of the proposed law that is distinct from other provisions in purpose or subject matter.
(b) The proposition prepared under (a) of this section shall comply with AS 15.80.005 and shall be worded so that a "Yes" vote on the proposition is a vote to enact the proposed law.

Interaction With Authorities:

Alaska Statutes

Chapter 15.45. INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM, AND RECALL
Article 01. INITIATIVE

Sec. 15.45.190. Placing proposition on ballot.
The lieutenant governor shall direct the director to place the ballot title and proposition on the election ballot of the first statewide general, special, or primary election that is held after
(1) the petition has been filed;
(2) a legislative session has convened and adjourned; and
(3) a period of 120 days has expired since the adjournment of the legislative session.

Supervision And Support:

Alaska Statutes

Chapter 15.45. INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM, AND RECALL
Article 01. INITIATIVE

Sec. 15.45.195. Public hearings.
(a) At least 30 days before the election at which an initiative is to appear on the ballot, the lieutenant governor or a designee of the lieutenant governor shall hold two or more public hearings concerning the initiative in each judicial district of the state. Each public hearing under this section shall include the written or oral testimony of one supporter and one opponent of the initiative.
(b) The lieutenant governor shall provide reasonable notice of each public hearing required under this section. The notice must include the date, time, and place of the hearing. The notice may be given using print or broadcast media. The lieutenant governor shall provide notice in a consistent fashion for all hearings required under this section.
(c) Penalties for a violation of this section may not include removal of an initiative from the ballot.
(d) If the lieutenant governor determines that it is technologically and economically feasible, the division shall provide a live audio and video broadcast of each hearing held under (a) of this section on the division's Internet website.

Transparency And Finance:

Alaska Statutes

Chapter 15.45. INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM, AND RECALL
Article 01. INITIATIVE

Sec. 15.45.110. Circulation of petition; prohibitions and penalty.
(a) The petitions may be circulated throughout the state only in person.
(b) [Repealed, Sec. 92 ch 82 SLA 2000].
(c) A circulator may not receive payment or agree to receive payment that is greater than $1 a signature, and a person or an organization may not pay or agree to pay an amount that is greater than $1 a signature, for the collection of signatures on a petition.
(d) A person or organization may not knowingly pay, offer to pay, or cause to be paid money or other valuable thing to a person to sign or refrain from signing a petition.
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Practice

Archive:

Anchorage Daily News 26 August 2008: http://www.adn.com/2008/08/26/506632/2008-primary-election-results.html#ballot_measures

Remarks:

Currentness of data checked Dec. 2016 http://www.legis.state.ak.us/folhome.htm