- Associated Press - Friday, May 20, 2016

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The state of Alaska wants a long-term plan for its ferry system that can be financially sustained and will meet the needs of users.

Gov. Bill Walker on Thursday signed an agreement with the president of the board of the Southeast Conference. That group got its start decades ago pushing for what became the Alaska Marine Highway System, and under the agreement, the state would contract with the group to manage development of the plan. Responsibilities would include coordinating a statewide steering committee and soliciting public comment.

The plan is to address a number of issues, including a clearly-identified mission for the system; how the system can best serve transportation and shipping needs; and funding options.

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