Alaska’s initiative process is unique—Alaska is the only state with a robust initiative culture and advance oversight over the content of initiatives by the Lieutenant Governor. This state of affairs is appropriate because it recognizes both the savings to the state and the benefit to citizens that advance oversight can achieve. It also places the power of advance oversight in the hands of the individual most qualified in Alaska to wield it. However, despite being generally commendable, the Alaskan initiative oversight process is not perfect. Because the Lieutenant Governor has this unique power, it is inappropriate for them to be elected on the same ticket with the Governor. This Note proposes that the Lieutenant Governor and Governor positions should be more distinct, by holding separate elections for the two offices and by establishing a standardized line of succession to the fill vacancies in the office of the Lieutenant Governor. On the way to this conclusion, this Note discusses a number of factors that should be considered before any change to the initiative process is made. The proposed change, however, does not run afoul of any of the concerns over changing the initiative process, and therefore should be adopted.
Logan T. Mohs, Alaska’s Initiative Process: The Benefits of Advance Oversight and a Recommendation for Change, 31 Alaska Law Review 295-315 (2014)
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/alr/vol31/iss2/9