To provide an orderly transition from a territorial to a
state form of government, it is declared and ordained:
SECTION 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amended, or repealed.
SECTION 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.
SECTION 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
SECTION 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they are superseded by officers of the State.
SECTION 5. CORRESPONDING QUALIFICATIONS. Residence,
citizenship, or other qualifications under the Territory may
be used toward the fulfillment of corresponding
qualifications required by this constitution.
SECTION 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.
SECTION 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
SECTION 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
SECTION 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 reelection only
if it is four years or more in duration.
SECTION 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.
SECTION 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.
SECTION 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.
SECTION 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
SECTION 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.
SECTION 15. OFFICE HOLDING BY FIRST LEGISLATORS. 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.
SECTION 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.
SECTION 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.
SECTION 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
SECTION 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.
SECTION 20. STATE CAPITAL. The capital of the State
of Alaska shall be at Juneau.
SECTION 21. SEAL. The seal of the Territory,
substituting the word "State" for "Territory," shall be the
seal of the State.
SECTION 22. FLAG. The flag of the Territory shall be
the flag of the State.
SECTION 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.
SECTION 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.
SECTION 25. EFFECTIVE DATE. This constitution shall
take effect immediately upon the admission of Alaska into
the Union as a state.
SECTION 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).
SECTION 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.
SECTION 28 - APPLICATION OF AMENDMENT. The 1982
amendment limiting appropriation increases (art. IX, sec.16)
applies to appropriations made for fiscal year 1984 and
Agreed upon by the delegates in Constitutional Convention
assembled at the University of Alaska, this fifth day of
February, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred
and fifty-six, and of the Independence of the United States
the one hundred and eightieth.
Wm. A. Egan, President of the Convention, et al