The House Organizes and Committee Assignments Arrive
The day after the oaths of office was administered, the House elected Representative Cathy Tilton (R.-Wasilla) as the Speaker when members of the Bush Caucus joined with almost all of the House's Republicans. This decision came after a lot of work—eventually unsuccessful—by me and others to maintain the moderate and multipartisan (Democrat/Republican/Independent) majority organization that had served Alaskans for six years. I ended up in a strong and cohesive minority in the House with 15 Democrats and Independents and Representative Calvin Schrage (I.-Anchorage) as Minority Leader.
I received an excellent array of committee assignments, however. I serve on the House Judiciary, Ways and Means, and Military and Veterans' Affairs Committees, as well as the Joint (that is, House and Senate) Armed Services Committee. These committee assignments will allow me to pursue two of my main goals in office, which are to (1) eliminate--or at least substantially reduce--the State of Alaska's structural deficit that threatens our state's ability to provide good schools, roads, public safety, and other critical services to Alaskans and (2) promote good constitutional amendments while stopping misguided constitutional amendments. Additionally, these committee slots will help me aid those who live on Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER) and the veterans who live throughout our district.
I have spoken with hundreds of our district's residents during the past year about the issues that matter most to you. I look forward to working with you on these issues, which include homelessness, preventing school closures, increasing funding for education, improving traffic safety and road maintenance (including fixing the lack of sidewalks and the blind corners, which are particularly prevalent in North Muldoon), protecting reproductive freedom, reducing the high rates of domestic violence and sexual assault in Alaska, and retaining the Spanish immersion program at Government Hill Elementary School.