Legislature gives governor authority to weigh in on initiative

Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2008

JUNEAU - The House Finance Committee has authorized the governor's office to spend $25,000 to weigh in on a citizen's initiative on mining.

The ballot measure would impose several restrictions on large-scale metallic mining operations statewide. Some say it could derail plans for Pebble Mine, a massive gold and copper deposit in Southwest Alaska.

The money was added to the capital budget on Thursday.

Lawmakers agreed the state should be able to educate the public about mining issues. But some were concerned that it could be used to influence an election.

Rep. Harry Crawford, D-Anchorage, said he was worried lawmakers were setting a bad precedent.

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