The Alaska State Marine Highway Ferry Fairweather pulls up to the Auke Bay Terminal in this 2014 file photo.

The Alaska State Marine Highway Ferry Fairweather pulls up to the Auke Bay Terminal in this 2014 file photo.

Legislature to hear public testimony on ferry system and PFD

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

Now’s the time to make your voice heard on 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 Locations are as follows: Anchorage: 1500 West Benson Boulevard; Cordova: 418 First Street, Suite A; Dillingham: Kangiiqutaq Building; Homer: 270 West Pioneer Avenue, Suite B; Juneau: Alaska Capitol Building, Room 124; Kenai: 145 Main Street Loop, Suite 217; Ketchikan: 1900 First Avenue, Suite 310; Kodiak: 305 Center Avenue, Suite 1; Petersburg: 11B Gjoa Street; Seward: 302 Railway, Suite 107; Sitka: 201 Katlian Street; Valdez: State Office Building, Room 13; and Wrangell: 223 Front Street.

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

Folks at the Alaska State Capitol openly admit to plenty of fish tales, but to a large degree in ways intended to benefit residents and sometimes even the fish. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The bizarre bills other state legislatures are considering

Alaska’s Legislature isn’t mulling the headline-grabbers some statehouses have in the works.

This photo shows snow-covered hills in the Porcupine River Tundra in the Yukon Territories, Canada. In July 1997, a hunter contacted troopers in Fairbanks, Alaska, and reported finding a human skull along the Porcupine River, around 8 miles (13 kilometers) from the Canadian border. Investigators used genetic genealogy to help identify the remains as those of Gary Frank Sotherden, according to a statement Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, from Alaska State Troopers. (AP Photo / Rick Bowmer)
Skull found in ‘97 in Interior belongs to New York man

A skull found in a remote part of Alaska’s Interior in 1997… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Officer William Hicks stands with JPD Chief Ed Mercer and Deputy Chief David Campbell during a swearing in ceremony for Hicks on Thursday at the JPD station in Lemon Creek. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
New officer joins JPD’s ranks

The Juneau Police Department welcomed a new officer to its ranks Thursday… Continue reading

These photos show Nova, a 3-year-old golden retriever, and the illegally placed body hold trap, commonly referred to as a Conibear trap, that caught her while walking near Outer Point Trail last week. (Courtesy / Jessica Davis)
Dog narrowly survives rare illegally placed trap in Juneau

State wildlife officials outlined what to do if found in similar situation

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Public defender agency to refuse some cases, citing staffing

ANCHORAGE — A state agency that represents Alaskans who cannot afford their… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police: Gift card scam connected to hoax Fred Meyer threats

This article has been moved in front of the Empire’s paywall. A… Continue reading

This is a concept design drawing that was included in the request for proposal sent out by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities seeking outside engineering and design services to determine whether it’s feasible to build a new ferry terminal facility in Juneau at Cascade Point. (Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities)
DOT takes steps toward potential Cascade Point ferry terminal facility

It would accommodate the Tazlina and or Hubbard, shorten trips to Haines and Skagway

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Friday, Feb. 3, 2023

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Most Read