The Alaska Constitution is the fundamental governing document of the state of Alaska.
Alaska has become a case study in recent constitutional development. Along with Hawaii, Alaska was able learn from the constitutional experiences of others states, and its constitution was penned during a more progressive time of reform in state governments. These progressive reforms attempted to simplify state constitutions and to strengthen institutional powers so elected officials could govern more effectively. The Alaska Constitution reflects those reforms. One example of this is that Alaska’s governor is among the most institutionally powerful in the nation and is allowed to appoint all executive officials as well as set the legislative agenda when calling special sessions.
Other notable features of the Alaska Constitution include:
Every ten years, voters must be asked on the ballot whether they wish to hold a constitutional convention.
An entire article is devoted to natural resources, both renewable and non-renewable.
The current (and first) Alaska Constitution was ratified in 1956 and went into effect when Alaska became a state on January 3, 1959.
The current constitution has been amended 28 times.
The most recent amendment to the Alaska Constitution, Measure 1, was approved by voters in 2004.
Although citizens in Alaska can put initiated state statutes on the ballot, Alaska does not feature a process for initiated constitutional amendments. Thus, amendments in Alaska can be put on the ballot through referral by the legislature or by a constitutional convention.