Republicans caucusing in Alaska’s Capitol have been kicked out of the Fahrenkamp and Butrovich committee rooms (203 and 205), based on a complaint made by the Senate secretary about some of them not wearing masks.
The complaint was made by Secretary Liz Clark, who has been policing Republicans in the halls when they don’t strictly adhere to the rules set by the Legislative Council. Coghill, who is a Republican, is Rules chair of the Senate and is a member of the council, although his term ends on Tuesday, when Rob Myers is sworn in as the new senator from Fairbanks.
The Fahrenkamp and Butrovich rooms adjoin and are under control of the Senate.
Newly elected Representative Chris Kurka from District 7-Wasilla, has been photographed in the House chambers not wearing a mask, in violation of the Legislative Council’s rules, which remain in effect until the House and Senate organize and set forth new rules for the 32nd Legislature.
The new session starts on Tuesday, with both the House and Senate still not organized with a leadership caucus. Meetings have been underway as legislators in the House try to put together a team that will be in charge, with a 20-20 split between the Republican and the Democratic caucuses at this point (Rep. Louise Stutes, a Kodiak Republican, caucuses with the Democrats).
This move, kicking a caucus out of a legislative room, is unprecedented in Alaska history, but the oversight of all existing committees ends on Monday, as it pertains to taking formal committee action.