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House Majority Announces Incoming Leadership

Saturday, November 6, 2010, Anchorage, Alaska – The Alaska State House Majority Caucus today announced its leadership team for the 27th Alaska Legislature, which will convene Jan. 18 in Juneau.

Speaker of the House – Rep. Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski

Majority Leader – Rep. Alan Austerman, R-Kodiak

Rules Chair – Rep. Craig Johnson, R-Anchorage

Finance Co-Chair (capital budget, legislation) – Rep. Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak/Mat-Su

Finance Co-Chair (operating budget) – Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Haines

Majority Whip – Rep. Peggy Wilson, R-Wrangell

Bush Caucus – Rep. Reggie Joule, D-Kotzebue, House Chair


Speaker Chenault says the caucus they’ve assembled is strong regionally and incorporates all areas of the state. “We struck a regional balance, same as last organization,” Chenault said. “It’s important, not only among caucus members, but also within the leadership team. I look forward to healthy debate and ideas down in Juneau.”

The Majority Caucus met yesterday and today in Wasilla to select the leadership team and committee chairs.

“It’s a privilege to be chosen as a part of the leadership by my fellow members,” incoming Majority Leader Austerman said. “I’m pleased to bring some calm, and a common sense approach, to the Legislature.”

“I’m excited about the depth and quality of this organization,” incoming Rules Chair Johnson said, echoing his colleagues. “It’s a strong group, with great regional balance and some exciting new energy. I know Alaskans from all parts of the state will be well served by this caucus and I look forward to working with all of them to move Alaska forward.”

Whip-elect Wilson says she’s proud to have earned the trust of her colleagues. “I’m proud to be selected as part of this leadership team,” Wilson said. “I’m looking forward to representing this great group of legislators.”

“Bush Alaska will continue to have a guiding voice within the caucus, which has a rural flavor thanks to my colleagues in the Bush Caucus,” returning House Bush Caucus Chair Joule said. “Speaker Chenault and the rest of leadership have worked with rural Alaska well in the past, forming strong bonds and allowing for a greater dialogue about the diversity in the state.”

Additional members of the Finance Committee are:

Rep. Anna Fairclough, R-Eagle River (Vice-Chair)

Rep. Reggie Joule, D-Kotzebue

Rep. Bryce Edgmon, D-Dillingham

Rep. Mark Neuman, R-Su-Valley

Rep. Tammie Wilson, R-North Pole

newly-elected Representative Mia Costello, R-Anchorage.

“We’ve come together,” incoming House Finance Committee Co-Chair Thomas said“I’m a proud member of the Bush Caucus, and I’m also proud and honored to be chosen as Operating Budget Co-Chair by my fellow caucus members. My staff and I are ready to go.”

“I’m glad the caucus has entrusted me to return and craft the capital budget and shepherd legislation,” returning Finance Co-Chair Stoltze said. “We have continued to strive for regional balance on the committee and return a core group of experienced legislators in Representatives Fairclough, Joule, myself and Co-Chair Thomas. At the same time we welcome four new members in Representatives Edgmon, Neuman, Wilson and Representative-elect Mia Costello. Mia, being new to office, brings a breath of fresh air - along with her experience and knowledge - to both the Legislature and the Finance Committee.”

Standing Committee chairs are:

Community and Regional Affairs – Rep. Cathy Muñoz, Juneau

Education – Rep.-elect Alan Dick, R-Stony River

Health and Social Services – Rep. Wes Keller, R-Wasilla

Judiciary – Rep. Carl Gatto, R-Palmer

Labor and Commerce – Rep. Kurt Olson, R-Soldotna

Resources – Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer & Rep.-elect Eric Feige, R-Chickaloon

State Affairs – Rep. Bob Lynn, R-Anchorage

Transportation – Rep. Peggy Wilson, R-Transportation

Special and Joint Committee Chairs are:

Economic Development, Trade, and Tourism – Rep. Bob Herron, D-Bethel

Energy – Rep. Neal Foster, D-Nome & Rep.-elect Lance Pruitt, R-Anchorage

Fisheries – Rep.-elect Steve Thompson, R-Fairbanks

Military and Veterans’ Affairs – Rep.-elect Dan Saddler, R-Anch./JBER & Rep.-elect Thompson

Joint Armed Services – Rep.-elect Saddler, House Co-Chair

Legislative Budget and Audit – Rep. Mike Hawker, R-Anchorage, Chair

Legislative Council – Rep. Herron, Vice-Chair

Administrative Regulations Review Committee – Rep. Olson, Vice-Chair

Final rosters will be available upon completion.

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