Rep. Gary Knopp

Office of Rep. Gary Knopp

 

That portion of the state legislature in Juneau for a special session was again unable to find the votes necessary to override Governor Mike Dunleavy’s vetoes. Roughly a third of the legislature met again at Wasilla Middle School. KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran spoke to Gary Knopp Friday afternoon, the Central Peninsula’s lone legislator in Juneau.

 

 


 

A number of state budget issues remain unresolved and layoffs for state employees or even a shutdown are possible if the legislature and the governor can’t come to an agreement soon. Kenai representative Gary Knopp spoke with KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran about what a special session might look like to address those and this session’s thorniest issue, the permanent fund dividend.

 

 


        Three members of the House Finance Committee, including the Speaker of the House, were in the Central Peninsula on Saturday, taking testimony on the state of the budget and PFD.

For about three full hours Speaker Bryce Edgmon, Rep. Jennifer Johnston of Anchorage, and Kenai Rep. Gary Knopp heard testimony from all across the spectrum.

This weekend members of the House Finance Committee will be in Kenai for a public hearing on the state budget. Kenai-Soldotna Republican Rep. Gary Knopp will be among the legislators attending, including Anchorage Republican Jennifer Johnston and Speaker Bryce Edgmon of Dillingham.

Two of the Central Kenai Peninsula's three members of the Alaska Legislature called a couple of community meetings for Saturday. A packed meeting with residents concerned over state budget cuts to Wildwood Prison was held Saturday morning in the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Chambers. In attendance were Rep. Ben Carpenter of Nikiski and Sen. Peter Micciche of Kenai.

Another meeting followed at noon for those concerned about fixing Senate Bill 91 from last session and the attack on education spending in the governor's budget. It had even more attendees.

Kenai Republican Gary Knopp held separate town hall events in a recent trip back to the Peninsula. He addressed the Kenai and Soldotna Chambers of Commerce Friday, Feb. 15.

  The Alaska State House majority announced committee assignments Tuesday, and Kenai Rep. Gary Knopp was given a seat on the powerful Finance Committee, but on no others. However, that isn't unusual for members on Finance to only serve on that committee, one with a sizable workload.

Central Peninsula Representative Gary Knopp is in town for some meetings, including a joint chambers of commerce breakfast tomorrow (Friday). He has taken heat and received praise for his decision to force the creation of a bipartisan coalition to run the State House, and said he’s come back home to talk with residents about the situation in Juneau.

Kenai-Soldotna State Rep. Gary Knopp says the continued disorganization in the Alaska State House won’t last forever, and though he said he’s been feeling unrest from constituents he says the House is on the path to be organized with a broad coalition majority.

He spoke with KDLL’s Jay Barrett.

On Friday, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the House District 1 seat will go to the Republican candidate, Bart LeBon. That finalizes the make up of the Alaska State House, but the body’s organization is still in turmoil.

Kenai-Soldotna Rep. Gary Knopp, a Republican, is holding out for a coalition to rule the house, and is not committing to joining his party’s caucus in Juneau. He spoke with KDLL’s Jay Barrett about how he sees the political playing field, with about a week to go before the legislature convenes.

Kenai’s representative to the State House shocked the political establishment over the weekend by announcing he would not serve in a majority caucus unless it was a coalition with House Democrats.

Rep. Gary Knopp says a caucus with a slim or one-vote majority is essentially doomed.

Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

 

Now that elections have largely been settled across the state, the real fight over the state’s permanent fund can begin.

 

 


Voters in the central Kenai Peninsula are returning a solidly Republican delegation to Juneau.

The slate is set for the state primary elections.

With Rep. Mike Chenault not seeking reelection, House Seat 29 is wide open, and has attracted three candidates, Shawn Butler of Hope running as a nonpartisan, and candidates Ben Carpenter and Wayne Ogle, both of Kenai, are running for the Republican nod.

Chenault gave up his house seat to run for Alaska governor, but his name does not appear on the state's final candidate list for that, or any, office.