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2022 Op. Alaska Att'y Gen. 1 (2022)

handle is hein.sag/sagak0097 and id is 1 raw text is: Department of Law
1031 We st 4  Avenue , site 200
Anchorge, AK99 01
Ma in: 907 .269.5100
Fax: 907.2  6.3697
June 28, 2022
The Honorable Kevin Meyer
Lieutenant Governor
P.O. Box 110015
Juneau, Alaska 99811-0015
Re:   HB 123 and 21AKTR Substantial Similarity Analysis
AGO No. 2021103148
Dear Lieutenant Governor Meyer:
You asked whether the tribal recognition initiative, 21 AKTR, should remain on
the 2022 general election ballot, given the passage of HB 123. Once an initiative is
properly filed, it goes to the voters unless the legislature passes a substantially similar
bill.1 21AKTR, which proposes a bill titled The Alaska Tribal Recognition Act, was
properly filed and you directed its placement on the November 8 general election ballot.2
The legislature then passed SCS HB 123(STA), An act providing for state recognition of
federally recognized tribes; and providing for an effective date. Because HB 123 is
substantially the same as the bill proposed by 21 AKTR, the initiative should not appear
on the ballot if the bill becomes law.
An initiative petition is void if an act of the legislature that is substantially the
same as the proposed law was enacted after the petition had been filed, and before the
date of the election.3 A bill enacted by the legislature and a bill proposed by initiative
are substantially the same if, in the main, the legislation achieves the same general
purpose as the initiative and it accomplishes that purpose by means or systems which
1     AS 15.45.150; AS 15.45.210.
2     See AS 15.45.010-.190; 2021 Op. Alaska Att'y Gen. (Oct. 4), 2021 WL 5034862,
at *1 (recommending certification of the 21AKTR application).
3     AS 15.45.210; AK Const., Art. 11, sec. 4 (If, before the election, substantially the
same measure has been enacted, the petition is void.).

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