News from the Alaska State Legislature, the Office of Senate Majority Press
For Immediate Release: November 26, 2018

Senate Majority Announces Team, Caucus Agreement

Press_stamp.jpgSenate Majority Press Press   Web Site    Send Email

ANCHORAGE – The Alaska Senate Majority today announced its complete team for the 31st Alaska Legislature, which begins Jan. 15. The majority also announced a caucus agreement reflecting Alaskans’ desire for more engagement in the state budget process, an expanded Senate Finance Committee and committee leaders.

Sen. Lyman Hoffman (D-Bethel) joined the majority as the 14th member.

“Senator Hoffman brings years of experience and is a strong advocate for rural Alaska,” said incoming Senate President Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage). “I am pleased to welcome this esteemed member of the Alaska Senate to our ranks.”

The majority identified passing a responsible budget, on-time, as the single most important task. To best accomplish this, the majority will increase the number of Finance Committee members and amend its caucus agreement related to budget votes.

Expanding the Finance Committee by two members gives nearly 50 percent of Alaska’s senators hands-on roles in the budget process. The committee will include senators from every corner of the state and emphasize the Senate’s first priority: passing a responsible budget in a timely manner.

2019-Senate-Majority.jpg

The amended caucus agreement recognizes the rights and responsibilities of each majority member. Members will have more opportunity than ever to actively participate in budget deliberations, and therefore have more ownership of the majority budget. However, members who find themselves unable to vote for the majority budget will not face automatic removal from the caucus. Consequences for such a vote will be determined by the caucus and consider the importance of representing constituents.

“We are committed to a productive session, delivering solid results for Alaska families and businesses,” Sen. Giessel said. “This modified caucus agreement strikes the balance of putting the budget front and center without an automatic penalty that adversely impacts members’ constituents."

The nine-member Senate Finance Committee will be co-chaired by Sen. Bert Stedman (R-Southeast Islands) and Sen. Natasha Von Imhof (R-Anchorage). Sen. Stedman will direct the operating budget, and Sen. Von Imhof will manage the capital budget and legislation before the committee. Committee members will be Sen. David Wilson (R-Wasilla), Sen. Click Bishop (R-Fairbanks), Sen. Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna), Sen. Mike Shower (R-Wasilla), and Sen. Lyman Hoffman (D-Bethel). The remaining two committee members will be selected by the Senate Minority Caucus.

“The state is facing a very significant structural budget deficit,” said Sen. Stedman. “To help fix the problem, the Senate Finance Committee is adding two members. These additional members broaden the geographic representation and bring valuable experience to the Senate Finance table.”

Chairs of the Senate’s standing committees will be:

  • Sen. Shelley Hughes (R-Palmer), Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senate Transportation Committee;
  • Sen. Gary Stevens (R-Kodiak), Senate Education Committee, and Legislative Council;
  • Sen. Mike Shower (R-Wasilla), Senate State Affairs Committee;
  • Sen. Chris Birch (R-Anchorage), Senate Resources Committee;
  • Sen. Lora Reinbold (R-Eagle River), Senate Labor and Commerce Committee;
  • Sen. David Wilson (R-Wasilla), Senate Health and Social Services Committee; and
  • Sen. Click Bishop (R-Fairbanks), Senate Community and Regional Affairs Committee.

As previously announced, Sen. Mia Costello (R-Anchorage) will be the Majority Leader, and Sen. John Coghill (R-North Pole/Fairbanks) will be the Senate Rules Chair.

For more information please contact Senate Majority Communications Director Rena Miller at (907) 269-0220.

###

Share this on Twitter Tweet icon-facebook.png Share

News & Videos more >

Senator Cathy Giessel

Statement from Senate President Giessel on Recess of 31st Legislature

JUNEAU – Senate President Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, early this morning released the following statement on the 31st Alaska Legislature’s...  Full Story >>

Senator Bert Stedman

Legislature Approves Budgets, COVID-19 Emergency Funding

JUNEAU – The Alaska Legislature early this morning approved the state’s operating and capital budgets for the upcoming 2021 fiscal year, with critical emergency funding for the...  Full Story >>

Senator John Coghill

Legislature Extends Emergency Declaration, Provides Economic Relief

JUNEAU – In response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Alaska Legislature early this morning passed a bill extending Governor Mike Dunleavy’s public health...  Full Story >>

Senator Click Bishop

Legislature Reforms Alaska’s Mining Policies

JUNEAU – The Alaska Legislature today passed a bill reforming the state’s mining policies.  Full Story >>

Senator Cathy Giessel

Legislature Expands Alaska Mental Health Services

JUNEAU – The Alaska Legislature today passed a bill expanding mental health services in Alaska.  Full Story >>

Senator Bert Stedman

Senate Passes State Operating Budget with COVID-19 Response Funding

JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate today passed a bill funding state government for the upcoming 2021 fiscal year, a partial capital budget, and emergency funding to respond to the coronavirus...  Full Story >>

Senate Majority Press Press

Legislative Leaders to Alaskans: Help is on the way

JUNEAU – Today, Senate President Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, Senator Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, co-chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Senator Natasha von Imhof,...  Full Story >>

Senator Josh Revak

Alaska Senate Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage

JUNEAU – Today, exactly 107 years after the First Territorial Alaska Senate passed a bill granting Alaskan women the right to vote, the Thirty-First Alaska Senate unanimously approved...  Full Story >>

Senator Bert Stedman

Legislature Provides Relief Funding for Coronavirus Impacts

Bill also pays for last year’s firefighting and healthcare costs  Full Story >>

Senator Bert Stedman

Public Testimony Notice: Alaska Operating and Capital Budgets

JUNEAU – This week, the Alaska Senate Finance Committee will be taking public testimony on the operating and capital budgets beginning at 9 a.m. on Wednesday....  Full Story >>

Find your Senator full map