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Sun Apr 25, 2021, 12:46 PM

Governor, lawmakers unveil plan to use $76.8M federal windfall to fund ferries for 18 months

The governor and legislative leaders have agreed on a rough plan to use federal pandemic relief from Congress to help stabilize Alaska’s beleaguered ferry system.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy and lawmakers say a nearly $77 million windfall would allow the state to fund the Alaska Marine Highway System for the next year and a half. The governor visited Ketchikan on Thursday and discussed his proposal.

A $900 billion bill passed by Congress in the final days of 2020 included $14 billion for mass transit. This month, state leaders learned $76.8 million of that could be used for the Alaska Marine Highway System.

Now, Gov. Mike Dunleavy proposes funding the ferry system in next year’s budget for 18 months rather than the usual 12. That means this year’s budget would cover ferry operations from July 1 of this year through the end of 2022 he said during a stop in Ketchikan.

Read more: https://www.alaskapublic.org/2021/04/23/governor-lawmakers-unveil-plan-to-use-76-8m-federal-windfall-to-fund-ferries-for-18-months/

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Reply Governor, lawmakers unveil plan to use $76.8M federal windfall to fund ferries for 18 months (Original post)
TexasTowelie Apr 25 OP
dutch777 Apr 25 #1

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sun Apr 25, 2021, 01:32 PM

1. Question is how do you get to sustainable after you burn through the windfall?

I agree with the stimulus but worry that state and local governments won't have the hard discussions and plan adequately for what happens after the fed funds run out. Looking at Seattle close by, all appearances are that downtown will remain a ghost town as tech and other office workers are voting in droves to work from home at least a majority of the time. Issue is not Covid, but no one wants to waste the time and money in commuting. Return of tourists will help but that is highly seasonal. Although as Brazil, India and others seem doomed to be ongoing human petri dishes for dangerous new strains of Covid, this is far from over.

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