APOC approves advisory opinion on ballot measures

JUNEAU (AP) — The Alaska Public Offices Commission has approved an advisory opinion that found that lawmakers can use state resources, like their legislative websites, to make known their positions on referenda and ballot measures.

Guidance on the issue was requested by House Speaker Mike Chenault and Senate President Charlie Huggins.

The advisory opinion referenced a legislative ethics committee decision that found action to support or oppose an initiative was related to lawmakers’ duties.

But the advisory opinion said that in the future when lawmakers use state resources to take such positions, the use of state resources should be disclosed on an independent expenditure report and communications expressing an opinion on a ballot measure should include a “paid for” tag.

The commission approved the decision on a 4-1 vote last week.

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