The Alaska Senate Democrats released a new organizational line-up for the upcoming 30th Alaska State Legislature which commences on January 17, 2017.  The caucus will include Senator Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage), Senator Dennis Egan (D-Juneau), Senator Donny Olson (D-Golovin), Senator Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage), and Senator-elect Tom Begich (D-Anchorage).  Senator Gardner will continue to serve as the Minority Leader.
Committee assignments for the caucus are Senator Berta Gardner: Community & Regional Affairs, Rules, State Affairs, Senator Dennis Egan: Transportation, Labor & Commerce, Senator Donny Olson: Finance, Senator Bill Wielechowski: Judiciary, Resources and Senator Tom Begich: Health & Social Services, Education.
“The results of last night’s national election surprised everyone, and Alaska’s results were no different,” Senate Minority Leader, Berta Gardner said in a statement. “We have seen incumbent members of the legislative Majority presumed to be secure in their seats lose or nearly lose elections in the primaries, and again yesterday in the general election. The composition and character of the new legislature will be very different from the last, and I believe that’s a good thing for Alaskans. The message from voters is clear – they feel the Majority is not listening to them.”
The Alaska Senate Democratic caucus easily retained all of its incumbent seats. On the House side, a new Bipartisan Majority has been announced consisting of 22 Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.
“We are extremely pleased to hear that there will be a new bipartisan majority in the House,” said Gardner. “Our strong relationships with the new majority members will help to foster communication and a spirit of cooperation which is sorely needed to break the gridlock in Juneau. We are hopeful that the 30th Legislature will do what the 29th was unable to do – work together to solve Alaska’s growing fiscal crisis.”