Alaska lawmakers approve $66.7M for ferry service funding

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Legislature has approved a $66.7 million budget appropriation that lawmakers say should keep the Alaska Marine Highway System running for the year.

    CoastAlaska reported legislators increased the operating budget by around $20 million over the previous year.

    An estimated 42% of the overall $122 million ferry budget is expected to come from ticket sales for passengers, vehicles, and freight.

    The budget adds another $19 million for repairing the ferry Aurora and adding crew quarters to two others.

    Republican state Sen. Bert Stedman said the appropriation should guarantee at least one ferry is available as a relief vessel.

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