Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott on Friday removed a ballot measure from this fall’s statewide election, citing a “substantially similar” bill approved by the Alaska Legislature this spring.
The move, which was expected, comes following the passage of House Bill 44, a measure that restricts lawmakers’ ability to accept gifts and contributions and states that lawmakers will not receive per-diem expense payments if they do not pass a state budget on time.
The bill’s passage came after more than 45,000 Alaskans signed petitions to put Ballot Measure 1, nicknamed the “Alaska Government Accountability Act,” in front of voters.
Under Article 11, Section 4 of the Alaska Constitution, a ballot measure is void if “substantially the same measure has been enacted” by the Legislature.
Rep Jason Grenn, I-Anchorage and one of the sponsors of Ballot Measure 1, said organizers of the effort are meeting this week in Anchorage to decide whether they want to protest the lieutenant governor’s decision.
They would prefer to not waste government resources, Grenn said, but there are other things at stake.
“We do have a responsibility to the 45,000 Alaskans who signed that petition to keep up our end of the bargain,” Grenn said. “I think by the end of the week, we’ll know our path moving forward.”
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