Amidst all the other political news coming out on Wednesday, the 14-person Senate Majority announced its leadership lineup. Here’s what we know:
- Senate President: Kevin Meyer from Anchorage.
- Majority Leader: John Coghill from North Pole.
- Rules: Charlie Huggins from the Mat-Su.
- Finance Co-Chairs: Anna Fairclough from Eagle River and Pete Kelly from Fairbanks.
- Community and Regional Affairs: Click Bishop from Fairbanks.
- Legislative Council: Gary Stevens from Kodiak.
- Judiciary: Lesil McGuire from Anchorage.
- Education: Mike Dunleavy from the Mat-Su.
- Health and Social Services: Bert Stedman from Sitka.
- Resources: Cathy Giessel from Anchorage.
- State Affairs: Bill Stoltze from the Mat-Su.
- Transportation: Peter Micciche from Soldotna
- Labor and Commerce: Mia Costello from Anchorage.
Although the majority hasn’t reached out to any Democrats to join, there’s still room, Meyer said at a press conference announcing the organization. Indeed, it’ll be likely that at least one of the following three Democratic Senators will join: Sens. Dennis Egan, Lyman Hoffman, Donny Olson. Fifteen is the optimal number to get things done.
Focus in the next session will be on cutting the budget, the natural gas pipeline, education and Arctic policy. It’s unclear how the new Legislature will deal with the pot issue or the National Guard issue. It’s also unclear how they would deal with Medicaid expansion, if Bill Walker prevails and becomes the state’s new governor. Walker has said that first thing he would do is to expand Medicaid. The Senate Majority will meet for a retreat in December where such things will be discussed
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