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Proposal to Overturn AO 37 on the Table

Published On: Oct 10 2013 01:40:00 PM AKDT

Reporter Adam Pinsker, Photojournalist Kenneth Knutson

In a dramatic turn of events late Wednesday evening, Anchorage Assemblyman Dick Traini introduced a proposal to overturn Ordinance 37.

Traini says he has the co-sponsors to pass the measure killing the controversial labor ordinance passed in March of this year.

The Assembly reconvened it's regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday to hear public testimony on when a repeal election should be held for the ordinance.

22,136 signatures were collected during a swift campaign to repeal AO 37.

Critics called the ordinance an attack on labor unions, while Mayor Dan Sullivan claimed it was created to fix a broken bargaining process between the unions and the city.

"I want you to do the right thing, do not push it off to 2015," Anchorage Fire Department Employee Mike England said during testimony Wednesday night.

There a few proposals that would move the repeal vote to April of 2014 or April of 2015, or even to November of 2014 instead of 75 days after the municipal clerk certified the signatures.

Last month, city hall won a crucial battle in defending its ordinance.  The Alaska Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal by the municipality claiming the ordinance was administrative, not legislative policy, and therefore not subject to a repeal petition.

"The outcome of this appeal is imperative, it's very important obviously to the municipality, they've really gone to the mat here to try to figure out what the rules are in terms of where the citizens have the right to collect signatures," said AFL-CIO Director Joelle Hall.

Traini initially told Channel 2 News early Wednesday evening, he would introduce a motion to put the repeal vote on the April 2014 ballot.

Traini says a public hearing will take place at the October 22nd assembly meeting to gather testimony on his latest proposal overturning AO 37.

Contact Adam Pinsker