Article 15 - Schedule of Transitional Measures

To provide an orderly transition from a territorial to a state form of government, it is declared and ordained:

§ 1. Continuance of Laws

All laws in force in the Territory of Alaska on the effective date of this constitution and consistent therewith shall continue in force until they expire by their own limitation, are amended, or repealed.

§ 2. Saving of Existing Rights and Liabilities

Except as otherwise provided in this constitution, all rights, titles, actions, suits, contracts, and liabilities and all civil, criminal, or administrative proceedings shall continue unaffected by the change from territorial to state government, and the State shall be the legal successor to the Territory in these matters.

§ 3. Local Government

Cities, school districts, health districts, public utility districts, and other local subdivisions of government existing on the effective date of this constitution shall continue to exercise their powers and functions under existing law, pending enactment of legislation to carry out the provisions of this constitution. New local subdivisions of government shall be created only in accordance with this constitution.

§ 4. Continuance of Office

All officers of the Territory, or under its laws, on the effective date of this constitution shall continue to perform the duties of their offices in a manner consistent with this constitution until they are superseded by officers of the State.

§ 5. Corresponding Qualifications

Residence, citizenship, or other qualifications under the Territory may be used toward the fulfillment of corresponding qualifications required by this constitution.

§ 6. Governor to Proclaim Election

When the people of the Territory ratify this constitution and it is approved by the duly constituted authority of the United States, the governor of the Territory shall, within thirty days after receipt of the official notification of such approval, issue a proclamation and take necessary measures to hold primary and general elections for all state elective offices provided for by this constitution.

§ 7. First State Elections

The primary election shall take place not less than forty nor more than ninety days after the proclamation by the governor of the Territory. The general election shall take place not less than ninety days after the primary election. The elections shall be governed by this constitution and by applicable territorial laws.

§ 8. United States Senators and Representative

The officers to be elected at the first general election shall include two senators and one representative to serve in the Congress of the United States, unless senators and a representative have been previously elected and seated. One senator shall be elected for the long term and one senator for the short term, each term to expire on the third day of January in an odd-numbered year to be determined by authority of the United States. The term of the representative shall expire on the third day of January in the odd-numbered year immediately following his assuming office. If the first representative is elected in an even-numbered year to take office in that year, a representative shall be elected at the same time to fill the full term commencing on the third day of January of the following year, and the same person may be elected for both terms.

§ 9. Terms of First Governor and Lieutenant Governor

The First Governor and Lieutenant Governor shall hold office for a term beginning with the day on which they assume office and ending at noon on the first Monday in December of the even-numbered year following the next presidential election. This term shall count as a full term for purposes of determining eligibility for re-election only if it is four years or more in duration. [Amended 1970]

§ 10. Election of First Senators

At the first state general election, one senator shall be chosen for a two-year term from each of the following senate districts, described in section 2 of article XIV: A, B, D, E, G, I, J, L, N, and O. At the same election, one senator shall be chosen for a four-year term from each of the following senate districts described in section 2 of article XIV: A, C, E, F, H, J, K, M, N, and P.

§ 11. Terms of First State Legislators

The first state legislators shall hold office for a term beginning with the day on which they assume office and ending at noon on the fourth Monday in January after the next general election, except that senators elected for four-year terms shall serve an additional two years thereafter. If the first general election is held in an even-numbered year, it shall be deemed to be the general election for that year.

§ 12. Election Returns

The returns of the first general election shall be made, canvassed, and certified in the manner prescribed by law. The governor of the Territory shall certify the results to the President of the United States.

§ 13. Assumption of Office

When the President of the United States issues a proclamation announcing the results of the election, and the State has been admitted into the Union, the officers elected and qualified shall assume office.

§ 14. First Session of Legislature

The governor shall call a special session of the first state legislature within thirty days after the presidential proclamation unless a regular session of the legislature falls within that period. The special session shall not be limited as to duration.

§ 15. First Legislators: Office Holding

The provisions of section 5 of article II shall not prohibit any member of the first state legislature from holding any office or position created during his first term.

§ 16. First Judicial Council

The first members of the judicial council shall, notwithstanding section 8 of article IV, be appointed for terms as follows: three attorney members for one, three, and five years respectively, and three non-attorney members for two, four, and six years respectively. The six members so appointed shall, in accordance with section 5 of article IV, submit to the governor nominations to fill the initial vacancies on the superior court and the supreme court, including the office of chief justice. After the initial vacancies on the superior and supreme courts are filled, the chief justice shall assume his seat on the judicial council.

§ 17. Transfer of Court Jurisdiction

Until the courts provided for in article IV are organized, the courts, their jurisdiction, and the judicial system shall remain as constituted on the date of admission unless otherwise provided by law. When the state courts are organized, new actions shall be commenced and filed therein, and all causes, other than those under the jurisdiction of the United States, pending in the courts existing on the date of admission, shall be transferred to the proper state court as though commenced, filed, or lodged in those courts in the first instance, except as otherwise provided by law.

§ 18. Territorial Assets and Liabilities

The debts and liabilities of the Territory of Alaska shall be assumed and paid by the State, and debts owed to the Territory shall be collected by the State. Assets and records of the Territory shall become the property of the State.

§ 19. First Reapportionment

The first reapportionment of the house of representatives shall be made immediately following the official reporting of the 1960 decennial census, or after the first regular legislative session if the session occurs thereafter, notwithstanding the provision as to time contained in section 3 of article VI. All other provisions of article VI shall apply in the first reapportionment.

§ 20. State Capital

The capital of the State of Alaska shall be at Juneau.

§ 21. Seal

The seal of the Territory, substituting the word "State" for "Territory," shall be the seal of the State.

§ 22. Flag

The flag of the Territory shall be the flag of the State.

§ 23. Special Voting Provision

Citizens who legally voted in the general election of November 4, 1924, and who meet the residence requirements for voting, shall be entitled to vote notwithstanding the provisions of section 1 of article V.

§ 24. Ordinances

Ordinance No. 1 on ratification of the constitution, Ordinance No. 2 on the Alaska-Tennessee Plan, and Ordinance No. 3 on the abolition of fish traps, adopted by the Alaska Constitutional Convention and appended to this constitution, shall be submitted to the voters and if ratified shall become effective as provided in each ordinance.

Editor's Note: All three ordinances were ratified on April 24, 1956

§ 25. Effective Date

This constitution shall take effect immediately upon the admission of Alaska into the Union as a state.

§ 26. Appropriations for Relocation of the Capital

If a majority of those voting on the question at the general election in 1982 approve the ballot proposition for the total cost to the State of providing for relocation of the capital, no additional voter approval of appropriations for that purpose within the cost approved by the voters is required under the 1982 amendment limiting increases in appropriations (art. IX, sec. 16). [Amended 1982]

§ 27. Reconsideration of Amendment Limiting Increases in Appropriations

If the 1982 amendment limiting appropriation increases (art. IX, sec. 16) is adopted, the lieutenant governor shall cause the ballot title and proposition for the amendment to be placed on the ballot again at the general election in 1986. If the majority of those voting on the proposition in 1986 rejects the amendment, it shall be repealed. [Amended 1982]

§ 28. Application of Amendment

The 1982 amendment limiting appropriation increases (art. IX, sec. 16) applies to appropriations made for fiscal year 1984 and thereafter. [Amended 1982]

§ 29. Applicability of Amendments Providing for Redistricting of the Legislature

The 1998 amendments relating to redistricting of the legislature (art. VI and art. XIV) apply only to plans for redistricting and proclamations of redistricting adopted on or after January 1, 2001. [Amended 1998]

 

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