The Republican dominated Majority Caucus in the Alaska House of Representatives intends to focus on 5 guiding principles over the next 2 years.
Normally the majority and minority organizations in the Alaska Legislature outline their goals and priorities early in the session. For the Majority organization in the Alaska House things were a little different this year as they waited until the session was a third over before they formally outlined their "guiding principles". That occurred Friday morning during a lengthy press conference. As is common for this kind of thing the principals are pretty basic and devoid of details. The 5 principals are affordable energy, building a strong economy, education reform and workforce development, fiscal responsibility and health communities. While the House Majority Caucus is dominated by Republicans a small handful of mostly rural Democrats chose once again to caucus with the Republican Majority including District 37 State Representative Bob Herron from Bethel who spoke to the principle of affordable energy. He said,
"When it comes to energy this Legislature has done some tremendous things. One shining example is winterization and that's available to any Alaskan regardless of income."
Some of the guiding principles outlined on Friday are the same or similar to principals that were put forward by the House Majority during the last Legislature. Among the duplicated principles is "Affordable Energy" and during Friday's press conference a long discussion ensued after the various lawmakers were asked how to measure their effectiveness or accountability to addressing that guiding principal. District 24 State Representative Charisse Millett suggests that comprehensive solutions to the state's energy crisis have not yet been identified. She said,
"We've been working on this for 30 years. This is not a new problem. It's a problems we will address every single session."
The 5 guiding principles of the House Majority Caucus can be found on the Caucus website at www.housemajority.org. The first session of the 28th Alaska Legislature is ongoing in Juneau through the middle of April.