Ruling finds proposal to be allocative
An initiative proposing a ban on setnets in certain parts of the state was rejected Monday as a “prohibited appropriation” under the advice of Alaska’s Department of Law.
Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell announced Monday afternoon that the proposed initiative would not appear on the ballot.
The Department of Law issued a 12-page opinion Jan. 3 that determined that having voters consider the ban would be an appropriation, which cannot be addressed in a ballot initiative.
That was based largely on a 1996 Alaska Supreme Court decision in Pullen vs. Ulmer that maintained that salmon are assets that cannot be appropriated by initiative, and that preferential treatment of certain fisheries may constitute a prohibited appropriation.
In the Pullen case, a ballot initiative would have allocated a preferential portion of salmon to subsistence, personal use and sport fisheries, and limited them to about 5 percent of the projected statewide harvest. The state’s supreme court ruled that was an unconstitutional appropriation, and the question was not allowed on the ballot.
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