Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Members of the Alaska House Majority claim the new bills would set a new course for the Alaska Marine Highway System.
One bill introduced by Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tompkins, House Bill 253, would prevent the Alaska Department of Transportation from selling or disposing of a ferry without the approval of lawmakers.
“Many Alaskans share my concern that the Dunleavy Administration may dismantle the ferry system to the point that, like Humpty Dumpty, it cannot be put back together again, Kreiss-Tompkins,” said. “This legislation is co-sponsored by coastal legislators from across the state and is something of a mayday to help save our marine highway.”
The second bill, HB 249, sponsored by Rep. Louise Stutes of Kodiak would create the Alaska Marine Highway System Corporation. The Corporation could provide a stable leadership that provides a long-term vision and plan for the AMHS. A main goal will be to provide affordable and dependable service.
“It’s very clear from ongoing maintenance and operational issues that the Alaska Marine Highway System currently does not have the capacity to make sound, long-term decisions for the future health of the system,” Stutes said. “We must give the AMHS stability by pursuing management options that are not subject to the whims of a new administration every four years.”