Nearly all of the seats in the Alaska Legislature are up for reelection this year, so the makeup of the state House and Senate could look a lot different next session.
The gathering was in the gymnasium in the Terry Miller Legislative Office Building, which is across 5th Street from the Capitol.
Two members who voted for the members of House committees say they won’t caucus with the coalition that has been the majority.
Republican Rep. Kelly Merrick of Eagle River said she had wanted to have a Republican majority, but with the close division in the House, it will be necessary for people to work across party lines.
Major differences among Republicans mean Alaskans still don’t know who will be in the majorities in both the House and the Senate.
Soldotna Republican Sen. Peter Micciche helped organize a meeting of the Senate Republicans on Nov. 13. He said he’s “very optimistic” that the Republicans will be forming a majority.
House Bill 49 would mark the third time the Legislature changed major provisions of the controversial criminal justice law known as Senate Bill 91.
The largest change the House made on the floor was to restore half of school bond debt reimbursement.
The powerful House Finance Committee will have eight Republicans — including four from each caucus — two Democrats and one independent.
The newly-formed House majority is working out who will fill its committee seats. Meanwhile, the majority coalition is still trying to add more Republican members who are currently in the minority.