2007 Alaska Attorney General Reports and Opinions 1 (2007)

handle is hein.sag/sagak0012 and id is 1 raw text is: MEMORANDUM
To: The Honorable Sean Parnell
Lieutenant Governor
Thru: Talis J. Colberg
Attorney General
Craig J. Tillery
Deputy Attorney General
From: Michael A. Barnhill
Assistant Attorney General
Labor and State Affairs Section

State of Alaska
Department of Law
Date: February 1, 2007
File No: 663-06-0050
Tel. No.: (907) 465-3600
Fax: (907) 465-2520
Subject: 05HUNT-Reconsideration
of Initiative Application

You have asked us to reconsider our opinion of October 12, 2005, regarding this
initiative. Specifically you inquire whether under Pullen v. Ulmer, 923 P.2d 54
(Alaska 1996) and Alaska Action Center, Inc. v. Municipality ofAnchorage, 84 P.3d 989
(Alaska 2004), the initiative constitutes an appropriation and therefore is inappropriate
for the ballot under art. XI, sec. 7, of the Alaska Constitution. Moreover, you inquire
whether procedurally you may decertify an initiative at this time. We shall discuss each
issue in turn.
I.    Whether the 05Hunt Initiative is an Appropriation
A.    Case Law
The Alaska Supreme Court has considered several cases involving the extent to
which initiatives constituted an appropriation prohibited by art. XI, sec. 7 of the Alaska
Constitution.' It is fair to say that the trend of the Court over the years and through the
1990s was to steadily expand the scope of what constitutes an appropriation-from
money to property and finally to natural resource allocations.
The height of the court's expansion of the definition of appropriation in the
initiative context was Pullen v. Ulmer, 923 P.2d 54 (Alaska 1996). There, the
court concluded that an initiative that required the Board of Fisheries to reserve a
The initiative shall not be used to dedicate revenues, make or repeal
appropriations .....

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