Last Tuesday, I had the incredible honor of being sworn in as the State Representative for House District 16 in East Anchorage again. I swore to and signed an oath to uphold and defend our United States and Alaska constitutions. It's an incredible privilege to continue to represent the 18,000 Alaskans who live in House District 16 and I don't take that lightly.
This year's ceremony was different - for everyone's safety we all wore masks and plexiglass barriers have been installed in between the seats. The traditional welcome events were all cancelled and families of those being sworn in were not allowed in the House Chambers to watch as they usually are. However, eliminating some bells and whistles is for the best. Strong COVID mitigation policies in the capitol building this year will be essential in being able to complete our work timely, and this starts on day one.
The Senate organized in a completely Republican majority last week, but the House still has yet to organize. Until we do so, we cannot take any formal action on legislation or the budget in the House. I am hopeful that the House will organize soon, and that we will again have a bipartisan coalition of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents who are committed to building a better Alaska.