—Posted by Matt Buxton, staff writer
Just as the newly elected Republican Senate Majority announced its plans to organize, the House Majority has also announced its leadership for the upcoming session.
In a morning press release the majority, which had a firm hold on the House through the elections, announced its lineup. The House Majority is mostly Republican but includes a few rural Democrats.
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 Rules Chair. Reps. Bill Stoltze, R-Mat-Su/Chugiak, and Alan Austerman, R-Kodiak, will serve as the the co-chairs of the House Finance Committee.
As far as Fairbanks-area leadership, Reps. Steve Thompson, R-Fairbanks, and Tammie Wilson, R-North Pole, will serve on the House Finance Committee.
North Pole Rep. 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. Pete Higgins, R-Fairbanks, will chair the Health and Social Services Commission.
Where Fairbanks’ two Democratic Representatives, Reps. David Guttenberg and Scott Kawasaki, will be determined at a later date. Guttenberg had served on the House Finance Committee and Kawasaki on the Education, Fisheries and Resources Committees.
The House Majority committee assignments are as follows:
Finance Committee members
Rep. Stoltze & Rep. Austerman, Co-Chairs
Rep. Mark Neuman, R-Big Lake
Rep. Bryce Edgmon, D-Dillingham
Rep. Cathy Muñoz, R-Juneau
Rep. Tammie Wilson, R-North Pole
Rep. Mia Costello, R-Anchorage
Rep. Steve Thompson, R-Fairbanks
Judiciary – Rep. Wes Keller, R-Wasilla
Resources – Reps. Eric Feige, R-Chickaloon & Rep. Dan Saddler, R-JBER/Eagle River
State Affairs – Rep. Bob Lynn, R-Anchorage
Health & Social Services – Rep. Pete Higgins, R-Fairbanks
Labor & Commerce – Rep. Kurt Olson, R-Soldotna/Kenai
Transportation – Rep. Peggy Wilson, R-Wrangell
Education – Rep. Lynn Gattis, R-Wasilla
Community & Regional Affairs – Rep. Ben Nageak, D-Barrow & Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, R-Anchorage
Special & Joint Committee Chairmanships
Economic Development, Trade & Tourism – Rep. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer
Energy – Rep. Charisse Millett, R-Anchorage & Rep. Doug Isaacson, R-North Pole
Fisheries – Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer
Military & Veterans Affairs – Rep. Neal Foster, D-Nome & Rep. LeDoux
Legislative Council – Rep. Mike Hawker, R-Anchorage
Regulation Review – Rep. Lora Reinbold, R-Eagle River
Legislative Budget & Audit – Rep. Hawker, Vice-Chair
Joint Armed Services – Rep. Saddler, House Co-Chair
Select Committee on Legislative Ethics – Rep. Millett, House Chair