FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks region will have four seats on the House Finance Committee in the next legislative session, doubling the number from last year on the 11-member budget-writing panel.
The Republican majority and Democratic minority each announced their leadership positions and committee assignments on Friday, two days after the newly elected Republican Senate majority organized itself.
Republican Reps. Steve Thompson, R-Fairbanks, and Tammie Wilson, R-North Pole, will serve on the Finance Committee, as will Fairbanks Democratic Reps. David Guttenberg and Scott Kawasaki.
Wilson and Guttenberg are the region’s only members on the Finance Committee in the current Legislature.
Rep. Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, will continue as House speaker. Rep. Lance Pruitt, R-Anchorage is the new majority leader, and Rep. Craig Johnson, R-Anchorage, will continue as chairman of the Rules Committee. Reps. Bill Stoltze, R-Mat-Su/Chugiak, and Alan Austerman, R-Kodiak, will serve as co-chairmen of the House Finance Committee.
North Pole Rep.-elect Doug Isaacson, who ran his campaign largely on the principle of providing new solutions to lower the cost of energy to the Interior, will co-chair the House Energy Committee with Rep. Charisse Millett, R-Anchorage.
Rep.-elect Pete Higgins, R-Fairbanks, will chair the Health and Social Services Committee.
Rep. Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau, will be House Democratic leader. In the Senate, meanwhile, Majority Leader John Coghill of North Pole said Friday that Sen.-elect Click Bishop of Fairbanks has been named to the Senate Finance Committee. Sen.-elect Pete Kelly of Fairbanks already had been named co-chairman of the committee.
Contact staff writer Matt Buxton at 459-7544 or follow him of Twitter:@FDNMpolitics.