—Posted by Matt Buxton, staff writer
After a day of closed-door meetings, 11 Republicans gathered in Anchorage today to announce the tentative formation of a Republican majority in the 20-member state Senate. Sen. Charlie Huggins, the newly crowned Senate President, noted that he expects to see the majority grow, adding the two absent Republicans, and possibly add a few Democrats.
Senate President - Sen. Charlie Huggins
Senate Majority - Sen. John Coghill
Rules Chair - Sen. Lesil McGuire
Finance Co-Chair - Sen. Kevin Meyer
Finance Co-Chair - Sen. Pete Kelly
Other members include:
Sen. Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks
Sen. Fred Dyson, R-Eagle River
Sen. Mike Dunleavy, R-Wasilla
Sen. Anna Fairclough, R-Eagle River
Sen. Peter Micchiche, R-Soldotna
Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage
According to a press release, the group’s priorities are as follows.
TOP THREE AREAS OF FOCUS:
Increasing oil production in Alaska and, in turn, the flow rate of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.
Delivering affordable energy to Alaskans to their energy needs, as well as commercializing our vast supply of natural gas and exporting it to create a new economy in Alaska.
Develop sustainable capital and operating budgets for current and future generations
OTHER AREAS OF INTEREST:
Declining Alaskan salmon stocks
Graduation rates, job training, and vocational tech opportunities
Alaska’s role as the gateway of the Arctic