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Alaska State House Gavels in 26th Legislature
Caucus Leadership Looks Forward to Watching New Balance Play out


January 20, 2009

The Alaska State House of Representatives gaveled in the first session of the 26th Legislature in Juneau earlier today.

Representative Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski) was sworn in as Speaker of the House as the other 39 members took their oaths of office. Speaker Chenault says he's hopeful that the new balance within the caucus and among the committees will lead to positive results.

"There's no doubt that we have our work cut out for us," Chenault says. "But I'm confident we can make progress over the next 90 days. We have the right team in place, with a new perspective thanks to our members from Rural Alaska."

Representative Kyle Johansen, R-Ketchikan, recently elected Majority Leader by members following the November elections says there are large issues to tackle, but the new Majority is well-equipped to deal with them.

"We have great challenges ahead of us this session, most notably our fiscal situation because of the price of oil," Johansen said. "We are also primed to make progress on an overall energy plan for the state. However, with such a diverse leadership team and Majority we have a unique, broad perspective on those issues. I look forward to working with my colleagues from across the state and across the aisle to find solutions."

Following the opening ceremonies, the House Committee on Committees met and approved the finalized committee rosters.



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Ketchikan, Alaska