Transportation Co-Chair Louise Stutes: Irrefutable evidence of support for vibrant ferry system

JUNEAU – A record number of Alaskans testified in the House Transportation Committee this week.

The subject that motivated such an incredible outpouring was the existential threat that Governor Mike Dunleavy’s budget proposal represents to the critical services provided to coastal communities by the Alaska Marine Highway System.

On Tuesday alone, 484 Alaskans signed up to testify to the committee, the highest recorded on any topic since the Legislative Information Office began tracking testimony. Another 133 testified on Thursday, bringing the total to 617. There were so many people in attendance that an overflow room was needed at times. Additionally, 241 submitted written testimony.

“This is irrefutable evidence that Alaskans are unwilling to accept dramatic cuts to the Alaska Marine Highway System,” said Rep. Louise Stutes, a Kodiak Republican who co-chairs the Transportation Committee. “For many coastal communities, especially in winter when seaplanes often get weathered out, the blue canoe is the only way to access affordable food, healthcare, and move timber, fish, and other Alaskan products to market.”

For additional information or to request an interview with Representative Stutes, please contact Matt Gruening at 907-465-2487.