Local News

Egan joins majority as Transportation chairman

Juneau Senator Dennis Egan is the first Democrat to join the new Alaska Senate majority. He’ll chair the Senate Transportation Committee, according to a press release from the majority caucus.

Sen. Dennis Egan

Egan could not be reached for immediate comment, but the Transportation Committee often deals with state ferry issues, which are important to Juneau and Southeast Alaska.

Egan represents Petersburg, Juneau, Skagway, Gustavus and Tenakee.

Egan and Sitka Republican Bert Stedman are the only Senators left from the region. The state’s once-a-decade redistricting process eliminated one Senate seat and one House seat from Southeast.

Stedman and Egan were on the Senate Finance Committee last session, Stedman as co-chairman in charge of the capital budget. He now chairs the Senate’s Health and Social Services Committee.

That leaves no Southeast representation on the Finance Committee in the new Senate organization.

Stedman and Kodiak Republican Gary Stevens joined the new Senate majority Thursday, one day after it formed.

Stevens had been Senate President the previous four years, leading a bipartisan majority working group that challenged and ultimately defeated Governor Sean Parnell’s proposal to cut oil taxes by an estimated $2 billion a year. Stevens will now chair the Senate Education and World Trade Committees. He’s also a member of the Legislative Council.

Wasilla Republican Charlie Huggins is the new Senate President. North Pole Republican John Coghill is Majority Leader. Lesil McGuire of Anchorage is the new Rules chair, while Kevin Meyer of Anchorage and Pete Kelly of Fairbanks are the new Finance co-chairs.

It’s unclear at this point if other Democrats will join.

Recent News

PHS science team prepares for statewide competition

Members of Petersburg's Ocean Science Bowl team at practice. From left: Helen Martin, Chauncy Sandhoffer, Tucker Hagerman, Charlie Christensen, Julia Murph, Anders Christensen. Photo/Angela Denning
The high school students are working on two 15-page research papers for a statewide competition. The Alaska Tsunami Bowl, an academic competition, will take place in Seward at the end of February. more

Petersburg officials discuss retaining Coast Guard cutter

The Petersburg-based Coast Guard cutter Anacapa (photo courtesy USCG)
Petersburg officials are hoping to discuss ways to keep a Coast Guard cutter stationed in this Southeast community. Petersburg’s borough assembly wants to talk about changes to the waterfront to accommodate newer, larger patrol vessels, and it’s part of a discussion going on up and down Alaska’s coastline. more