Dunleavy Administration & Legislative Organization Update

Wednesday morning Governor Dunleavy announced Anchorage Attorney Kevin Clarkson as the Attorney General, and Nancy Dahlstrom as the commissioner of the Dept. of Corrections. Dahlstrom was just elected to Rep. Dan Saddler's seat in the house. That seat will now be vacant when the next legislature is sworn in. 
 
It's a three-step process to fill a vacant legislative seat: 
  1. Members of the same party as the person who last held that legislative seat (Republicans in this instance) and who are residents of the district choose three names to forward to the governor. 
  2. The governor then chooses one of those three people to fill the vacant seat. 
  3. A majority of the members of that party in that legislative body (House Republicans, in this instance) then have to agree to the governor's appointment.

There have been a few attempts in the past to deviate from this procedure and they have not ended well (stalemates between a governor and the political party), so I imagine the standard procedure will be followed to fill this vacancy.

One ramification of Dahlstrom's resignation of her house seat is that it takes 21 votes to elect a House Speaker, and until Dahlstrom's seat is filled there are only 20 Republicans in the House Majority. If you subtract Barton LeBon from the equation, there are only 19 Republicans in the House Majority. Currently, LeBon is officially one vote ahead of Democrat Kathryn Dodge, but Dodge is appealing the Div. of Elections decision that LeBon won the Fairbanks house seat that Rep. Scott Kawasaki currently holds. The basis of her appeal is that two ballots the division ruled as invalid, which had votes for her, should have been counted. 

So to conclude, organization of the house is still up in the air. 
 
Governor Dunleavy's Appointees
  • Chief of Staff: Tuckerman Babcock
  • Deputy Chiefs of Staff: Amy Demboski & Jeremy Price
  • Office of Management & Budget Director: Donna Arduin
  • Senior Policy Advisor: Brett Huber
    • Policy Advisor: John Moller
    • Constitutional Reform Advisor: Dick Randolph
    • Gas Pipeline Policy Advisor: Sean Parnell
    • Transportation, Legislation, & Fishing Policy Advisor: Ben Stevens
  • Dept. of Administration: John Quick
  • Dept. of Commerce, Community, & Economic Development: Julie Anderson 
  • Dept. of Corrections: Nancy Dahlstrom
  • Dept. of Education & Early Development: Michael Johnson
  • Dept. of Environmental Conservation: Jason Brune
  • Dept. of Fish & Game: Doug Vincent-Lang (acting commissioner)
  • Dept. of Health & Social Services: Adam Crum
  • Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development: Tamika Ledbetter 
  • Dept. of Law: Attorney General Kevin Clarkson
  • Dept. of Natural Resources: Corri Feige 
  • Dept. of Public Safety: Amanda Price
  • Dept. of Revenue: Bruce Tangeman 
  • Dept. of Transportation & Public Facilities: John MacKinnon
Senate Organization (so far)
  • President Cathy Giessel
  • Majority Leader Mia Costello
  • Minority Leader Tom Begich
  • Community & Regional Affairs Committee
    • Sens. Click Bishop (chair), Elvi Gray-Jackson
  • Education Committee
    • Sens. Gary Stevens (chair), Tom Begich
  • Finance Committee
    • Sens. Bert Stedman (chair, operating budget), Natasha von Imhof (chair, capital budget & legislation), Click Bishop, Lyman Hoffman, Peter Micciche, Donny Olson, Mike Shower, Bill Wielechowski, David Wilson
  • Health & Social Services Committee
    • Sens. David Wilson (chair), Tom Begich
  • Judiciary Committee
    • Sens. Shelley Hughes (chair), Jesse Kiehl
  • Labor & Commerce Committee
    • Sens. Lora Reinbold (chair), Elvi Gray-Jackson
  • Legislative Council, Senate Members
    • Sens. Gary Stevens (chair)
  • Resources Committee
    • Sens. Chris Birch (chair), Scott Kawasaki, Jesse Kiehl
  • Rules Committee
    • Sens. John Coghill (chair), Tom Begich
  • State Affairs Committee
    • Sens. Mike Shower (chair), Scott Kawasaki
  • Transportation Committee
    • Sens. Shelley Hughes (chair), Jesse Kiehl
The Senate Majority has not yet named their members to committees.
 
With Governor Dunleavy taking office, some documents have been taken down from state web pages. It's no surprise that Governor Walker's budgets have been taken down. No one expected those not to change considerably (the reason I didn't see much point in reporting on them). James Brooks of the Anchorage Daily News saved copies, if you'd like to view them.
 
Another item that disappeared from State of Alaska web pages, and one that I actually find surprising, is the Fall 2018 preliminary revenue forecast. It seems odd that that information would be removed, since revenue forecasts are based on hard data and standardized assumptions. I guess we will have to wait and see how a revenue forecast from the Dunleavy administration differs from one from the Walker administration, and whether the assumptions and data are changed. The preliminary revenue forecast from the Walker administration is available on Dermot Cole's blog.

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