Tuesday, June 6, 2023
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Senate Majority adds Hoffman, now is 14 strong

The Alaska Senate Majority today announced its team for the 31st Alaska Legislature, including committee chairmanships.
In addition, the majority has expanded the Senate Finance Committee with two more seats at the table, which means seven members of the 14-member majority will be on the Finance Committee.
Sen. Lyman Hoffman, a Bethel Democrat and former Senate Finance co-chair, joined the majority as the 14th member. He will have a seat at the table on the Finance Committee.
“Senator Hoffman brings years of experience and is a strong advocate for rural Alaska,” said incoming Senate President Cathy Giessel, an Anchorage Republican. “I am pleased to welcome this esteemed member of the Alaska Senate to our ranks.”
The majority identified passing a responsible budget, on time, as the single most important task. Because of that, the majority will amend its caucus agreement related to budget votes. The caucus agreement recognizes the rights and responsibilities of each majority member.
Members will have more opportunity than ever to actively participate in budget deliberations, and therefore have more ownership of the majority budget.
However, members who find themselves unable to vote for the majority budget will not face automatic removal from the caucus. Consequences for such a vote will be determined by the caucus and consider the importance of representing constituents, according to a press statement issued today by the Senate Press Office.
“We are committed to a productive session, delivering solid results for Alaska families and businesses,” Sen. Giessel said. “This modified caucus agreement strikes the balance of putting the budget front and center without an automatic penalty that adversely impacts members’ constituents.”
Expanding the Finance Committee by two members gives 50 percent of the majority caucus senators hands-on roles in the budget process. The committee will include senators from every corner of the state.
The Finance Committee will be co-chaired by Sen. Bert Stedman (R-Sitka) and Sen. Natasha Von Imhof (R-Anchorage). Sen. Stedman will direct the operating budget, and Sen. Von Imhof will manage the capital budget and legislation before the committee. Committee members will be Sen. David Wilson (R-Wasilla), Sen. Click Bishop (R-Fairbanks), Sen. Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna), Sen. Mike Shower (R-Wasilla), and Sen. Lyman Hoffman (D-Bethel). The remaining two committee members will be selected by the Senate Minority Caucus.
Chairs of the Senate’s standing committees will be:
  • Sen. Shelley Hughes (R-Palmer), Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senate Transportation Committee;
  • Sen. Gary Stevens (R-Kodiak), Senate Education Committee, and Legislative Council;
  • Sen. Mike Shower (R-Wasilla), Senate State Affairs Committee;
  • Sen. Chris Birch (R-Anchorage), Senate Resources Committee;
  • Sen. Lora Reinbold (R-Eagle River), Senate Labor and Commerce Committee;
  • Sen. David Wilson (R-Wasilla), Senate Health and Social Services Committee; and
  • Sen. Click Bishop (R-Fairbanks), Senate Community and Regional Affairs Committee.
Earlier, the group announced that Sen. Mia Costello (R-Anchorage) will be the majority leader, and Sen. John Coghill (R-North Pole/Fairbanks) will be the Senate Rules chair.
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Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


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