With the next session of the Alaska State Legislature approaching, Homer Representative Paul Seaton has been named to a handful of key positions in the House.
Homer Representative Paul Seaton begins his 11th year in the legislature after winning reelection over Democratic challenger Liz Diament November 6th. Seaton will begin next year’s legislative session as chairman of the House Fisheries Committee, an appropriate post for the representative from Homer who is known for his Greek fisherman’s hat.
"It seems like ... a really good match-up, considering everything that's happening ... with king salmon and all the issues we've got there," said Seaton.
Seaton says the single biggest issue the fisheries committee is likely to face is the statewide impact of low king salmon runs. He says the committee will also likely look at bycatch issues surrounding halibut fisheries in various parts of the state.
As chairman, Seaton has the power to receive all of the bills that come in and schedules when they will be heard in committee. His fisheries committee also has the power to oversee activities of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Seaton will also be a member of the House Resources, Education and Health and Social Services committees.
Another Peninsula legislator – Representative Mike Chenault of Nikiski – was chosen by his fellow Republicans to return as House Speaker. Seaton says he is pleased to have Chenault as speaker.
"He listens well to everybody," said Seaton. "He does a really good job of bringing people together and making sure we have an opportunity to work out any problems," he said.
Seaton says oil tax reform will likely once again be a dominant issue in the upcoming legislative session. He says the House has not yet seen a proposal from Governor Sean Parnell on what that reform might look like.
The 28th Alaska Legislature is set to gavel in January 15th in Juneau.