Lawmakers announced the makeup of a working group meant to draft recommendations for resolving the state’s fiscal deficit at the next special session of the Alaska State Legislature scheduled for Aug. 2.
In a joint news release Tuesday, the four legislative caucuses announced the working group will include Sens. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel; Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer; Scott Kawasaki, D-Fairbanks; Jesse Kiehl, D-Juneau. Hoffman and Hughes are members of the Senate majority caucus. Kiehl and Kawasaki are members of the Senate minority caucus.
Representing the House in the group will be Reps. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, D-Sitka; Calvin Schrage, I-Anchorage; Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski and Kevin McCabe, R-Big Lake. Kreiss-Tomkins and Schrage are members of the House majority coalition. Carpenter and McCabe are members of the minority caucus.
Senate alternates are Sens. Mike Shower, R-Wasilla, and Elvi Gray-Jackson, D-Anchorage. House alternates are Reps. Grier Hopkins, D-Fairbanks, and Mike Prax, R-North Pole. Shower is a member of the Senate majority and Gray-Jackson is a member of the Senate minority. Hopkins is a member of the House majority and Prax is a member of the House minority.
An organizational meeting will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 7, in the Anchorage Legislative Information Office, the release said.
The working group was the result of an agreement at the end of a tumultuous budget process that nearly brought the state to a government shutdown. Leaders of the four caucuses, House Speaker Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak; House Minority Leader Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla; Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna; and Senate Minority Leader Tom Begich, D-Anchorage; issued statements together emphasizing the need for bipartisanship and shared optimism.
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