Kansas House members from both parties say they are concerned about diverting funds from highway projects to general government operations to help close a shortfall in the state budget. The state faces a shortfall of more than $330 million in its current budget. The lawmakers said Tuesday during debate on a budget-balancing bill that they worry the state's roads and bridges will deteriorate. The bill contains a proposal from Brownback to divert $158 million from highway projects. Transportation officials acknowledge some projects could be delayed. Protesting the move were Republican Representatives Don Hill of Emporia and Tom Phillips of Manhattan and Democratic Representative Adam Lusker of Frontenac. Bob Totten of the Kansas Contractors Association told the committee that people in the construction industry will suffer if the transportation funds are cut.
Totten says nearly $300 million in highway preservation projects will also be sacrificed over the next two years.