House subcommittee advances plan to restore ferries

    The M/V LeConte.

    Juneau, Alaska (AP) - Alaska House lawmakers have taken the first step to bolster funding to the Alaska Marine Highway System in an attempt to restore ferry service to stranded communities.

    Members of a House Transportation subcommittee advanced a proposal for an additional $11.3 million appropriation last week.

    The budget authorization totaled $18.7 million in spending authority with projected revenues from ticket sales.

    The budget amendment will need approval by both the state House and Senate and the signature of Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

    A $43 million budget cut last year produced bare bones ferry schedules that left some communities without winter service.

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