Two of Juneau’s three state legislators have new Capitol offices this year, with Democratic Sen. Dennis Egan and Republican Rep. Cathy Muñoz relocating ahead of the start of the 28th Legislature.
Egan has moved from the fifth floor down to the ground floor, while Muñoz stays on the fourth floor but moves down the hall into an office held aside for members of the Finance Committee.
“It’s a ... designated Finance office,” said Muñoz, who will sit on the House Finance Committee in the incoming Legislature. “It’s a space that works really well for us. It’s very close to the Finance Committee room.”
The House Finance Committee meets in Room 519. Muñoz and her staff can get to that room simply by going up one floor on the fire escape right outside her new office in Room 421.
Muñoz’s new office was formerly occupied by Rep. Lance Pruitt, R-Anchorage, the incoming House majority leader. It will be familiar to Juneauites who call or visit their representatives’ Capitol offices; former Juneau Reps. Bruce Weyhrauch and Fran Ulmer both occupied the office during their respective tenures in the House.
Egan’s office is in Room 9, which hosted the office of Sen. Linda Menard, R-Wasilla, during the 27th Legislature.
“It’s not bad,” Egan said of his new space, which is larger than Room 510, the office he previously occupied. “You know what, the only (bad) part is —”
A loud popping sound from directly outside the senator’s window, where an R&M Engineering crew was boring into the ground outside the Capitol to retrieve a core sample, cut Egan off mid-sentence.
“That stuff,” Egan concluded, indicating the work outside.
The drilling outside the Capitol is being done to verify the geology of the ground upon which the building stands ahead of anticipated seismic retrofitting set to commence this summer, according to Wayne Jensen, president of architectural firm Jensen Yorba Lott, which has contracted the drilling work out to R&M Engineering. Jensen said Thursday the work is expected to wrap up this week, in time for the start of the legislative session on Jan. 15.
While the view out of Egan’s window was a drilling machine Friday morning, Muñoz’s office has a more scenic outlook.
“I like the space a lot,” said Muñoz. “It’s also a corner unit, so it has views out two directions, one facing the (Gastineau) Channel and one facing the mountainside.”
Rep. Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau, remains in her Room 404 office on the fourth floor, as she will continue to serve as leader of the House Democratic minority caucus.
• Contact reporter Mark D. Miller at 523-2279 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.