On Wednesday, the Alaska state Senate Majority announced its leadership line-up. Yesterday, the House Majority announced its organization. And today, both the Senate Minority and the House Minority announced its leaders for key positions. (See both press releases below)
In the House, leadership positions were reserved for Anchorage Legislators. Rep. Chris Tuck will continue to be Minority Leader, Max Gruenberg will again be House Whip, and Geran Tarr will serve as the House Democratic Floor Leader.
However, two of the three House Finance Committee members–Reps. David Guttenberg and Scott Kawasaki–went to Fairbanks lawmakers. Rep. Les Gara from Anchorage will also sit on the committee.
In the five-person Senate Minority caucus, Anchorage Sen. Berta Gardner will be Minority Leader.
Here’s the Senate Minority press release:
Senate Democrats announced a new organization today for the upcoming 29thAlaska State Legislature. The caucus will include Senator Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage), Senator Dennis Egan (D-Juneau), Senator Johnny Ellis (D-Anchorage), Senator Donny Olson (D-Golovin), and Senator Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage). Senator Gardner will serve as the Minority Leader.
Committee assignments for the caucus are as follows:
- Senator Berta Gardner: Education, Rules
- Senator Dennis Egan: Transportation, Legislative Council
- Senator Johnny Ellis: Health and Social Services, Labor and Commerce
- Senator Donny Olson: Finance, Community and Regional Affairs
- Senator Bill Wielechowski: Judiciary, Resources, State Affairs.
“We look forward to working together with all the members of the 29th Alaska Legislature. Addressing the urgent fiscal crisis while maintaining state infrastructure and continuing to provide essential state services such as public education and public safety will be our top priority,” said Senator Gardner.
Here’s the House Minority Press release:
Today, Alaska’s House Democratic Caucus announced its leadership for the 29th Alaska Legislature and its commitment to honor the voice of the Alaska people in the recent General Election.
Representative Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage) will continue to serve as Minority Leader for the 29th Alaska Legislature, and Representative Max Gruenberg (D-Anchorage) will remain as the House Democratic Whip. Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) will serve as the House Democratic Floor Leader.
“The historic results of Tuesday’s General Election show the desire of the people of Alaska for change,” said Minority Leader Tuck. “Alaskans want fundamental freedoms protected, change in how social and economic challenges are met, and budget discipline in today’s challenging fiscal environment. Our caucus will have an overarching goal of ensuring the greatest good while minimizing harm.”
The shared priorities of the members of the House Democratic Caucus include protecting and improving the public education system, addressing the high cost of energy, securing a stable economic future that provides good jobs for Alaskans, and protecting public safety.
“We look forward to working with the Senate and the Governor to set a new course for the State of Alaska,” said House Democratic Whip Gruenberg. “We must set aside political and regional differences and pull together in the coming years to achieve common goals. To be successful all stakeholders must be involved in process.”
The House Democratic Caucus also announced its assignments to the House Finance Committee. They are as follows:
- Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage)
- Representative David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks)
- Representative Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks)
The Caucus also announced its assignments to the House Resources Committee. They are as follows:
- Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage)
- Representative Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage)
The House Democratic Caucus will announce other committee assignments at a later date.