Rep. Tammie Wilson, R-North Pole, right, Rep. Dave Talerico, R-Healy, center, and Rep. Chuck Kopp, R-Anchorage, speak at a House Republican Caucus press conference at the Capitol on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Rep. Tammie Wilson, R-North Pole, right, Rep. Dave Talerico, R-Healy, center, and Rep. Chuck Kopp, R-Anchorage, speak at a House Republican Caucus press conference at the Capitol on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Capitol Live: Pinpointing when House majority will be formed ‘pretty difficult’

House members confident State of State address will still happen as scheduled

Monday marks the beginning of the second week of the new legislative session, and the House still remains unorganized without a majority or permanent leadership.

“I’m in favor of a Republican-led majority,” Rep. Dave Talerico, R-Healy said after a press conference Monday morning. He said House members were still having open communication on both sides of the aisle.

The House has been largely at a standstill since gaveling in the first day of session Tuesday, although a temporary Speaker of the House was voted in, Rep. Neal Foster, D-Nome.

When asked Monday how long he thought it would take to organize the House, Talerico said, “To pinpoint a specific day I think would be pretty difficult. I’d like to think it would be sooner rather than later.”

Rep. Chuck Kopp, R-Anchorage, noted that not having a budget from the governor was making it more difficult for members to have discussions about forming the majority.

[Tensions rise in discombobulated Alaska House]

“In a normal organizational year, it’s easier to draw team lines based on budget priorities,” Kopp said.

The House expects to see Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s new budget proposal on Feb. 13, said Rep. Tammie Wilson, R-North Pole. She said Monday they expect it will be dramatically different in comparison to the way budgets have been presented in the past.

“The budget is the No. 1 thing we are sent here to do,” Kopp said. “The caution flag is up among members. It’s hard to comment on something we haven’t seen.”

Talerico announced the House will hold a series of informational meetings this week at the Capitol that he hopes will help to move forward with business and clear a pathway for a majority organizaton to be formed quickly.

The last two years, the House has been led by a largely Democratic House Majority Coalition. But a Republican and independent who had caucused with the House Majority Coalition lost re-election bids in November. Currently there’s 20 Republicans caucusing, which is not enough to form a majority in the 40-member House.


• Contact reporter Mollie Barnes at mbarnes@juneauempire.com or 523-2228.


More in News

COVID-19. (Image courtesy the CDC)
49 new COVID-19 cases reported

Seven of the new resident cases reported Thursday were identified on the Kenai Peninsula.

Skylar Giordano cuts Ryan Huerta’s hair at RD’s Barber Shop in Kenai, Alaska on Thursday, July 9, 2020. RD’s is one of the 186 local businesses and nonprofits in Kenai that already received financial assistance through the City of Kenai’s Grant Program. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai boosts local economy with grants

The city has distributed $1.9 million in grants to 186 businesses and nonprofits.

Hospital adds new COVID-19 rooms

The hospital has made several changes or modifications to its facilities.

Salmon Run Series returns

Running races now feature masks, pods and elbow taps

A Homer Volunteer Fire Department emergency medical technician, left, assists a person who was involved in a boat capsizing, center, as they walk up the load-launch ramp on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, at the Homer Harbor in Homer, Alaska. The crew of the F/V Captain Cook helped rescue the person. The crew of the F/V Casino rescued the other two people who were aboard the 14-foot skiff when it capsized near the entrance of China Poot Bay. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
1 dead, 2 rescued after boat capsizes near China Poot Bay

A 14-foot skiff carrying three people overturned near Gull Island in the mouth of China Poot Bay.

The Kenai River and Skilak Lake are seen from the Hideout Trail in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on Sunday, July 5, 2020, on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Public comment open on proposed refuge changes

State could get more power over regulation refuge

COVID-19. (Image CDC)
10 new COVID-19 cases on the Kenai Peninsula

Statewide, 49 new cases in total were identified: 40 resident cases and nine nonresident cases.

The entrance to the Kenai Peninsula Borough building in Soldotna is seen here on June 1. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly overrides veto of hybrid election system

Members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly voted to override a mayoral… Continue reading

Parker Rose and Kendra Rose, members of the Sterling Horse and Livestock 4-H Club, are seen here with their miniature donkey on April 23, 2020. (Photo courtesy Cassy Rankin/Kenai Peninsula District 4-H)
Keeping cows and carrying on

4-H looks for alternative ways to host animal auction

Most Read