AMHS Update

AMHS Update

On February 19, 2020, Governor Mike Dunleavy held a press conference to discuss the Marine Highway and announce the administration’s new AMHS Reshaping Group, which will work to find a sustainable solution to reform the Alaska Marine Highway. The Work Group’s final report is due on or before September 30, 2020 with implementation beginning in Fiscal Year 2023. In the meantime, there is still a lot you can do to voice your opinion on the importance of the Marine Highway and the need for steady, reliable funding.

An amendment to the 2020 State Budget sponsored by Rep. Louise Stutes was successfully passed in the Alaska State House on February 13th, adding $18.7 million back into AMHS system operations, although the increase will need to survive the rest of the budget process, gaining the support of the other House and the Governor. Read more here.

Here’s how we gain yardage over the next few days:
  1.  
  • Get vocal on the state′s operating budget.

    To ask for full funding for public ferries in this year’s operating budget, email: house.finance@akleg.gov. Public testimony is scheduled, by community, this Wednesday through Saturday. Cordova’s time slot is Friday evening, Feb. 21st, from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. Please come to the LIO by no later than 6:50 pm Friday (the office will open at 6 pm): or call the office, 424-5461, to be placed on the sign-in list.

  • Call our elected officials

    Call the administration at 907-465-3708. Call your state Rep. & Senator’s offices early & often – find yours at: https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/

  • Fire off letters to the editor to stay visible.

    Navigate to ADN, the Cordova Times, and Juneau Empire to submit a letter to the editor or longer op-ed. All you have to do is pretend you are making a social media rant, clean up your language, and press submit! If you want help editing or submitting, email it to us at the Chamber and we can help you.

On Tuesday, February 11th 2020, Cordova joined rallies across the state of Alaska to “Save Our Ferries”. Below is the live-streamed footage. The fight continues. We will keep this post updated as more information becomes available.

The draft 2020 Summer Schedule shows regular service not returning to Cordova until May 20th, with two additional sailings recently added for April 23 & 24. Click the button below to view talking points you can use to voice your comments AMHS staff at the DOT, asking for coverage of these critical spring dates!

History:

When the Alaska Department of Transportation released its draft 2019/2020 Winter Schedule, it showed a service gap for all of Prince William Sound from September 12th – May 15th. That’s eight months without connection to the surface road system for five communities. It also showed substantial gaps for other regions.

Over 250 Cordovans made their voices heard to the House Transportation Committee who met in Cordova on Saturday, July 27th. Representative Louise Stutes who chairs the committee continued to work closely with the DOT to try to assemble a new winter ferry schedule that will provide adequate service to all regions in the state including Prince William Sound.

Shortly after this committee meeting, Cordovans assembled again to give feedback directly to the DOT during the DOT teleconference on Monday, July 29th. Despite all of this direct input from Cordovans, the community was left without ferry service from September 12th throughout the winter.