Transportation projects cleared by Senate committee

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved millions of dollars for Alaska transportation projects on Wednesday in a bipartisan vote supported by Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

The Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill now heads to the U.S. Senate floor for consideration.

“It is my priority and my duty to do all I can for the state of Alaska,” Murkowski stated in a release. “And that means I must make sure that even in an era of cuts and tough decisions, we continue to receive our fair share.”

The Essential Air Service program will receive a $13 million increase over 2011 levels through the bill. Every airport currently in the program can continue receiving the subsidy for the next fiscal year.

Also in the bill, the Federal Aviation Administration nationwide will receive $3.5 billion in Airport Improvement Program funds with an added $10 million for Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

Additionally, International Fisheries Commission funds were approved as part of the State and Foreign Operations 2012 appropriations bill. Such funds include $1.998 million for the Pacific Salmon Commission, $4.5 million for the International Pacific Halibut Commission and $400,000 for the International Whaling Commission.

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