On Friday, November 7 the House Majority held a press conference to discuss leadership and committee chair appointments. Details on the appointments were sent out in an email just previous to this one. Below are a few remarks from Speaker Chenault at the press conference.
Speaker Mike Chenault said most of the legislators have worked together before, and he feels very comfortable with the makeup of the senate. He and Senate President Kevin Meyer get along well. He believes they have similar positions on issues.
Speaker Chenault said education has and will always be an issue. He doesn't have any specifics yet as to what action the legislature will take on education. Education has always been the top item on everyone's agenda. How do they fund the education system to provide the biggest bang for the buck? Education will always be about money, and they will look at the budget process to figure out how education will be funded, though there are always differences of opinion on how it should be funded.
One of the main issues discussed at the press conference was the gas pipeline. Speaker Chenault said they are at a critical junction in developing the project. He hopes they can bring it online as another revenue source while also addressing the energy gap that exists in the state.
Another issue of concern is the current price of oil and the effect it will have on the budgets. Speaker Chenault said tapping into savings will be a very real possibility. They need to figure out how to make savings last as long as they can.
Another topic discussed was implementation of Ballot Measure 2, which regulates marijuana like alcohol.
When asked why he keeps being elected speaker, Chenault joked that it is his good looks. Then he said that he has support from the majority, and also works well with teh minority. He said the main thing is he's fair and works across the aisle with the minority and the administration.
House Minority Leadership
The House Minority also announced their leadership positions this morning. Representative Chris Tuck will serve as the minority leader, with Representative Max Gruenberg as the house whip. A minority spokesperson said committee appointments would be made after election results are finalized in several close house races.