be another majority coalition in the Alaska State Senate this upcoming session.
With Democrats picking up two seats this year, the 20-seat senate is split right
down the middle.
Senator Gary Stevens, who is now the senate president, put together this year's majority coalition, roughly along the
same lines as the one that ran the state senate the past two years. Like
before, there are more Democrats than Republicans in the coalition, but this
year the difference is even greater. All 10 senate Democrats are joined by only
three of the senate's 10 Republicans.
being in the minority of the majority coalition, Republicans hold three of the
five leadership positions: Stevens as President, Charlie Huggins as Rules
Chairman, and Bert Stedman as Finance Co-Chair. Democrat Johnny Ellis is
Majority Leader and Lyman Hoffman is the other Co-Chair of Finance.
described the coalition as "fragile," but says there's room for more senators if
they'd like to join up:
-- (Gary 1 30 sec "Well it certainly was not ... unknown at this time.")
of last year's coalition, Senator Lesil McGuire of Anchorage, is not in this year's majority.
Neither is newcomer Linda Menard, who was elected from the Mat-Su to replace
Lyda Green, last year's senate president, who retired. The other Republicans
out in the cold include Tom Wagoner of Kenai-Soldotna, Con Bunde and Kevin
Meyer of Anchorage, Fred Dyson of Eagle River, and Gene Therriault (terry-oh)
of North Pole.
said he's not prepared to announce any other committee assignments beyond the
leadership. He added that the coalition's members will take a retreat before
the legislative session begins on January 20th to hash out any of
-- (Gary 2 21 sec "We have some commonalities ... position on that.")
House also announced their leadership. Nikiski Representative Mike Chenault
will be the Speaker of the House. Stevens says the senate's relationship with
the house should be healthy this year:
-- (Gary 3 24 "Chenault
is a longtime friend ... communicate well with them.")
if the Senate plans any action against Governor Sarah Palin in light of the
legislative finding that she abused her power in Troopergate, Stevens said the
Senate has done all it planned to do, and that the State Personnel Board
subsequently cleared the governor.
I'm Jay Barrett.