- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A Senate subcommittee has proposed cutting $23 million from Alaska’s transportation department budget compared with this year, $8.9 million more than the House cut.

Sen. Dennis Egan expressed frustration with the proposed ferry system cuts, which subcommittee chair Peter Micciche acknowledged were significant. But Micciche said all state services will have to become more efficient given Alaska’s budget situation.

The subcommittee proposal represents a $12.3-million cut to the ferry system from this year.

It would cut 88 positions throughout the department, 33 of those with the ferry system, compared to this year.

The administration last week proposed an amendment for salary increases for ferry system workers under two unions, which a Micciche aide said can be taken up by Senate Finance as it drafts its version of the operating budget.

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