Thursday, August 07, 2008

Alaska 2008 Ballot Measure 4 Could Curtail Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority's Ability To Generate Funds For Mental Health Services

Not only does Alaska's 2008 Ballot Measure 4 pose a threat to the state's mining industry, but now it seems it also poses a possible threat to the ability of the state to provide proper funding for mental health services. Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority leaders are concerned that Ballot Measure 4 could severely limit the organization’s ability to generate mineral royalties from the million acres the trust holds on behalf of the state’s mentally ill people. Full story published August 7th, 2008 in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

If Measure 4 — also called the Clean Water Initiative — meets with voter approval in the August 26th primary election, predicted changes to state rules and regulations combined with a high likelihood for litigation could mean the trust, and Alaska’s mentally ill, loses out, authority CEO Jeff Jessee said.

Based on his assessment and that by trust land office director Harry Noah, a former Department of Natural Resources commissioner, Jessee said the initiative mandates new state rules and regulations that would by nature affect all large mineral mines. At the least, the measure would spur litigation that could tie up new rules in courts for years, potentially limiting new gold and other mineral developments planned for mental health trust properties. Of particular concern are the future of the Fort Knox gold mine near Fairbanks and how the initiative could affect development of a gold property on trust land near Livengood.

The trust holds about 1 million acres across the state. Money earned off that land, including mineral development, goes toward Alaska mental health services. Funds don’t provide for individual treatment, but they do aid the state’s Department of Health and Social Services and are awarded outside of state government channels to bring projects across the state together. The trust was one funder of the new detox center in Fairbanks.

In fiscal 2008, the trust earned $1.6 million off mineral royalties. Fort Knox, which is on trust land, generated $1.4 million of that total. “There is no real mechanism other than our resource development for preparing for the future, when there will be more beneficiaries and greater need for the trust to generate revenue to provide the same level of support that we do now,” Jessee said.

Alaskans for Clean Water is the primary group supporting the measure, while Alaskans Against the Mining Shutdown is leading the charge against it. Click on the links below to find out more about Ballot Measure 4. This threat to mental health trust royalties is just one more reason to vote against it.

Full four-page Text of 07WTR3 Initiative
Statement in Support of 07WTR3 Initiative
Statement in Opposition to 07WTR3 Initiative

Click HERE to find out information on the other three ballot measures to be decided on August 26th.

4 comments:

  1. Alaska Department of natural resources has developed a special Web page designed to provide information. Alaska mining regulations and projections on how passage of Ballot Measure 4 will impact the regulations.To get funds for mental health servies.
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    jonson
    Alaska Alcohol Addiction Treatment

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  2. Health care reform may have stalled earlier this year, but there are pending bills in the California legislature that can help our state move down the road to reform, that can help Californians have more confidence in the quality of their care and their coverage. Under existing California law, health insurers can sell products characterized as health insurance that cover only hospitals or only physicians.
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    Mehek

    Alaska Drug Addiction

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  3. Its very good news for the ill people and seems to be the introduction of the good season.
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    Arizona Drug Addiction

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  4. "Trust to generate revenue to provide the same level of support that we do now” Jessee the CEO said. Alaska Department of natural resources has developed a special Web page designed to provide information. This can help Alaskas have more confidence in the quality of their care and their coverage...............
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    asciisol
    Mojes

    ReplyDelete