JUNEAU, Alaska — A ballot initiative aimed at giving Alaskans a voice when it comes to coastal zone management was heard by a joint state judiciary committee on Monday.
Alaska's last coastal zone management program expired last year.
Supporters of a ballot initiative reinstating the program say when it comes to federal projects that would affect Alaska's coastline, coastal zone management gives the state a say about those projects.
“It's a tremendous power, and it's important for Alaskans given the fact that we have a coastline that's roughly 38 to 40 percent of the entire nation’s,” said Juneau Mayor Bruce Botelho, a sponsor of the initiative.
The state is continuing to count initiative signatures that the Alaska Sea Party submitted last month. While a computer couldn't initially qualify enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot, the state Division of Elections says subsequent hand counts for initiatives often qualify enough signatures to do so.