The Governor wants to sell off ferries and privatize the marine highway system
Governor Dunleavy’s proposed FY20 budget would have reduced funding to the Alaska Marine Highway System, (AMHS), to one third of historical levels.
After significant public outcry, the legislature significantly reduced the proposed cut. But when they attempted to restore an additional $5 million in funding, the governor vetoed it.
“They’re cut off,” Ortiz said Monday. “They don’t have access to medical care if they’re not allowed to fly because now the marine highway is not there for them.”
-Representative Dan Ortiz, (i), Ketchikan
Stymying local economies
“Gary Graham, the owner of the Powder House bar and grill in Cordova, is furious about the gap in service and says he’s look at launching legal action against the governor.
Every two weeks, Graham uses Alaska ferries to take a box truck onto the road system to go grocery shopping in Anchorage. He says he spends roughly $20,000 every trip.
Without ferries over the winter, Graham says he will likely use barge services out of Seattle
that will mean the Alaska economy will miss out on tens of thousands of dollars each month he usually spends in Anchorage stores.”
“What it means is a loss of economic stability,”
said Kodiak Republican Rep. Louise Stutes on the reduced sailings.
“These communities have built their businesses around the Alaska Marine Highway System.”