- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 11, 2014

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A state House committee has advanced legislation that would require public hearings for referenda.

Supporters say HB274, from the House Rules Committee, is intended to address an oversight in a 2010 law requiring public hearings on ballot initiatives.

A referendum is a way for voters to decide whether to keep a law. With initiatives, people can propose and pass laws independent of the legislature.

The bill would require the lieutenant governor to hold at least two public hearings in each of Alaska’s four judicial districts on a referendum appearing on the ballot.

The bill, as proposed, would apply to the oil tax referendum scheduled to appear on the August ballot. Provisions related to legislative hearings would apply to referenda on ballots after August.

The bill now goes to House Judiciary.

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