AK House Majority
The 26th Alaska State Legislature, 2009 - 2010  
Sponsor Statement: House Bill 36

Initiatives: Contributions/ Procedures

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Ak Majority Organization
Ak Majority Organization

Relating to ballot initiative proposal applications, to ballot initiatives and to those who file or organize for the purpose of filing a ballot initiative proposal, and to election pamphlet information relating to certain propositions.

Posted: February 25, 2010
Bill Version: SCS CSSSHB 36(JUD)
Status: Chapter 73 SLA 10 : 2010-06-11

Alaska's lawmaking process is highly public and strives to be transparent. Shown by the passage of an omnibus ethics bill in 2006, Alaskan voters want to know who is contributing to candiddate campaigns. Initiative-created law has the same authority and effect as law created by elected officials: therefor voters should be allowed to know who is making law through the initiative process. House Bill 36, also known as the Open and Transparent Initiative Act (OTIA), seeks to identify people and/or groups who financially contribute to initiative campaigns by requiring disclosure earlier in the process than is currently required. These guidelines are similar to those imposed upon elected officials. In addition, OTIA mandated that the Lieutenant Governor hold at least 2 public hearings in each judicial district, restricts the use of per-signature commision, and requires all of the language of a proposed ballot measure be published in the petition booklets so potential signers have the opportunity to read all of the language rather than a short summary.

Initiative committees in Alaska are not held to a high enough disclosure standard. There are loopholes in the current disclosure process that allow groups to hide contributors. There are signature-gathers without accountability. There is a lack of public hearings and input. There is financial information that is not disclosed until after the election. These shortcomings are not acceptable, and the Open and Transparent Initiative Act seeks to close these loopholes, repair the initiative process, and restore the faith of Alaskans in our election process.

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