Legislature to hear public testimony on ferry system and PFD

There will be opportunity to testify Tuesday at the Capitol regarding proposed budget cuts

The House Transportation Committee will take public testimony on the Alaska Marine Highway System Tuesday from 1:30-3 p.m., and then again from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

The Senate State Affairs committee is also hearing testimony on the Permanent Fund Dividend payback plan starting at 6 p.m.

The ferry system is facing a $97 million cut — 75 percent of its budget — under Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed budget for fiscal 2020. The ferry system may only operate seasonally instead of year-round. The AMHS has stopped taking reservations after Oct. 1.

The AMHS could be facing up to 253 union job losses under Dunleavy’s proposed budget, according to Robb Arnold, a member of the Inland Boatman’s Union. The IBU is one of three unions that work with the ferry system. That job reduction would include 100 jobs in Juneau and 81 in Ketchikan, Arnold said. Arnold said he and other union members learned that this during a meeting in February with Department of Transportation officials.

For those wanting to testify, please go to your local Legislative Information Office (LIO) either between 1:30-3 p.m. or between 5:30 and 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

LIO Kenai is located at 145 Main Street Loop, Suite 217. People who live in villages or other rural areas without an LIO can call 844-586-9085. These phone lines are limited, so the best bet to be heard is to go to an LIO if you live in an area that has one.


• Contact reporter Mollie Barnes at mbarnes@juneauempire.com or 523-2228.


More in News

A young volunteer chases three piglets named Mary Hamkins, Petunia and Sir Oinks-a-lot through a race during the pig races at the Kenai Peninsula Fair on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Kenai Peninsula Fair canceled this year

Cotton candy, carnival rides and racing pigs will have to wait for… Continue reading

COVID-19. (Image CDC)
State reports new 30 new cases; hospitalizations reach new high

The cases include 28 residents and two nonresidents.

photos by Megan Pacer / Homer News 
                                A youth rider takes a turn riding a bull calf during the 60th annual Ninilchik Rodeo on Saturday, July 4 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik. The rodeo lasted throughout the July Fourth holiday and celebrated a return to the event’s roots.
Riding high in Ninilchik

Ninilchik Rodeo celebrates 60 years with events new and old.

A closed sign is posted at a retail store shuttered due to the new coronavirus, in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna to vote on relief funds for businesses, nonprofits

CARES Relief and Recovery Grant funds would be rolled out in two phases.

COVID-19. (Image CDC)
Case count dips after 5 record days of positive cases

Alaska has had 1,338 cases of the disease since the state began tracking the pandemic in March.

An adult, female bald eagle was rescued from a tree Saturday in Juneau. The eagle was taken to Alaska Raptor Center in Sitka. (Courtesy Photo | Kerry Howard)
Juneau bald eagle rescued on Fourth of July

Injured but conscious, the raptor will get treatment in Sitka.

Robin Richardson, right, and her coworker Ellen Paffie from Georgia get ready for the night shift at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York on May 7, 2020. (Photo courtesy Robin Richardson)
Soldotna nurse joins COVID-19 fight at New York hospital

Richardson cared for 53 critically ill COVID-19 patients. Only two of those patients lived.

COVID-19. (Image CDC)
COVID-19 week in review: Case count jumps; new hospitalizations, deaths reported

The current average positivity rate for all tests conducted is 1.39%.

‘Crowning jewel’

Iron Mike statue unveiled at Soldotna Creek Park

Most Read