Committee to draft subsistence wording

Posted: Tuesday, October 09, 2001

JUNEAU -- A committee appointed by Gov. Tony Knowles likely will complete drafting of a proposed constitutional amendment on subsistence during meetings in Juneau on Wednesday and Thursday, according to Attorney General Bruce Botelho, chairman of the 11-member group.

The Subsistence Drafting Committee meets at 10 a.m. Wednesday and at 8 a.m. Thursday in the Treadwell Room at the Baranof Hotel. The committee held its initial meeting Sept. 24 in Anchorage.

There will be no public testimony, although the committee will consider written submissions, Botelho said. "We don't necessarily encourage it. The 11 people have enough ideas by themselves."

Although Knowles has reaffirmed his support for a rural subsistence priority in times of a fish or game shortage, Botelho said there are a variety of wording choices to be made. "This group is committed to exploring alternatives. There is no consensus in the group right now."

Knowles has said he might call a special legislative session this fall to consider the subsistence issue. Botelho said the drafting committee, which also must recommend changes in state statute to conform with federal law, is not working under a deadline.

The committee includes Juneau residents David Bedford, representing United Fishermen of Alaska, and former Attorney General Av Gross.

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