Alaska Legislature urges Congress to allow cruise ships

Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 4:57 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - On Wednesday, March 31st, the Alaska State House voted to urge Congress to exempt certain cruise ships from having to stop at Canadian ports on their way to the state.

In February, Canada extended a ban on cruise ships with more than 100 people in its waters, posing a threat to Alaskan tourism.

Under the 1886 Passenger Vessel Services Act, foreign-owned cruise ships must stop at a foreign port when traveling between Washington and Alaska, or face a potential fine.

In a vote of 38 to 2 the State House urged the exemption, and if Congress does not provide one, asked that President Biden not enforce the act.

Democrat Andi Story, Representative for District 34, said, “The tourism sector - businesses, families, individuals for whom this is their livelihood - have lost the largest percentages of jobs in the state. I hear stories that substantiate this all the time when talking to people in my district. Imagine facing a second season with little or no income.”

She added, “This resolution asks congress and the president to take decisive action.”

The state Senate passed the resolution on March 19th in a vote of 16 to 0, with 1 member absent and 3 excused.

The resolution will be sent to President Biden, Vice President Harris, Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and Representative Don Young.

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