House committees organize, five weeks after session began

Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, House Speaker Bryce Edgmon, I-Dillingham, and Rep. Steve Thompson, R-Fairbanks, talk immediately following a Committee on Committees meeting on Tuesday. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

The Alaska House of Representatives has organized its committees, five weeks later than normal.

The powerful House Finance Committee will have eight Republicans — including four from each caucus — two Democrats and one independent: Dan Ortiz of Ketchikan.

Seven of the 10 standing committees will have co-chairs.

Now that the committees are organized, work can begin on legislation. This had been delayed by a deadlock over who would be the speaker. That deadlock ended Thursday, when Bryce Edgmon of Dillingham was re-elected as speaker.

There will be 15 Democrats, eight Republicans and two independents in the majority, and 15 Republicans in the minority.

The House Finance Committee will hold its first meeting on Thursday.