SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Amendments Restore Money to Ferry Service, Homeless Programs, & Community Jails


February 19, 2015
Thursday PM

(SitNews) - Wednesday, Governor Bill Walker submitted four major changes, adding $350,000 to his fiscal year 2016 (July 1, 2015 – June 31, 2016) budget.

Governor Walker reallocated $6.3 million within the Department of Transportation from roads and highways on a one-time basis to ensure the ferry system can continue services already scheduled.

“There are many families who already purchased their ferry tickets for their once-in-a-lifetime vacations to Alaska,” Governor Walker said. “We want to ensure that service is available to them, as well as to Alaskans, in the coming year. We don’t want to balance the budget on the backs of the traveling public.”

Governor Walker also amended his budget to ensure continued funding for programs that help the homeless. He added $9.2 million for the basic homeless assistance program.

“Taking the money out was an unintended consequence of submitting a stripped-down capital budget,” said Office of Management and Budget Director Pat Pitney. “Putting the money back in is a cost-effective way to address issues that could be costly for our communities. It reduces overall costs in corrections and health and social services.”

“Thank You Governor Bill Walker for the continued funding of programs that help the homeless in Alaska,” Catholic Social Services said in a statement. “We appreciate your support in helping us compassionately serve the poor and those in need.”

Governor Walker also restored $7 million for community jails, which gives Department of Corrections more time to renegotiate jail contracts with communities based on use and faster transitions to correctional facilities.

Lastly, Governor Walker reduced $20 million more from Medicaid funding - for a total of $26.6 million in reductions from state spending on Medicaid. About $6.6 million was reduced from Medicaid funding in anticipation of federal money to be received through Medicaid expansion; Governor Walker proposed to cut an additional $20 million from Medicaid to advance Medicaid reform.

Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


On the Web:

Amendments to the FY16 budget


Source of News: 

Office of the Governor

Catholic Social Services

Publish A Letter in SitNews

Contact the Editor

SitNews ©2015
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

 Articles & photographs that appear in SitNews may be protected by copyright and may not be reprinted without written permission from and payment of any required fees to the proper sources.

E-mail your news & photos to

Photographers choosing to submit photographs for publication to SitNews are in doing so granting their permission for publication and for archiving. SitNews does not sell photographs. All requests for purchasing a photograph will be emailed to the photographer.