(Juneau) - Members of the Alaska State House Majority Caucus today unveiled the guiding principles they'll use during the 27th Alaska Legislature. Leadership organized a series of discussions where members spoke about their experiences in their home districts and ideas for moving the state forward. Those discussions over the opening weeks of session led members to identify the following five guiding principles:
Our goal wasn't to reinvent the wheel, more to learn from each other, build on past efforts and see where we could use the caucus's diversity and knowledge to move Alaska forward.
~ Rep. Mike Chenault
- Fiscal responsibility
- Responsible resource development
- Access to affordable energy
- Excellent schools & workforce development
- Safe & healthy communities
"This announcement is really a culmination of many hours of listening to member's ideas on a range of topics that are important to Alaskans. Everything from energy to how we foster business development," House Speaker Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, said. "Our goal wasn't to reinvent the wheel, more to learn from each other, build on past efforts and see where we could use the caucus's diversity and knowledge to move Alaska forward."
Leadership began the process in January with facilitators from the National Conference of State Legislatures, or NCSL, coming to Juneau and leading a day-long conversation with the entire caucus. From there, members met further in a series of meetings to discuss key issues and themes to highlight and develop into the caucus's legislative plan.
Our caucus comes from all regions of the state, all walks of life, and we hope to reflect that diversity in our approach and deliberations over the course of the 27th Legislature.
~ Rep. Alan Austerman
"We fully intend to see this process through. What we've brought forward today isn't a finished product, but a starting point - a framework we can use as we work together over the next two years on behalf of Alaskans," House Majority Leader Alan Austerman, R-Kodiak, said. "Our caucus comes from all regions of the state, all walks of life, and we hope to reflect that diversity in our approach and deliberations over the course of the 27th Legislature."
"We may not all agree completely on each individual item, but the consensus from membership is solid on the five principles we're announcing today," House Majority Whip Peggy Wilson, R-Wrangell, said. "Some of these points may have different meanings to different legislators, but we're there on the 'big picture' and are all committed to seeing this process through. In my years as a legislator, both here and in North Carolina, I must say that I've never seen a group of legislators come together like this and develop, really, a cohesive guiding platform."
"If we fail to plan, we plan to fail," House Rules Chair Craig Johnson, R-Anchorage, said. "This gets us off to a good start. We have specific ideas on ways to achieve these goals that we'll continue to discuss as the session proceeds."