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Lawmakers Consider Task Force to Study Kansas Highway Conditions

Photo by Jim McLean

Kansas lawmakers and Governor Sam Brownback have repeatedly dipped into the state Highway Fund to help balance the budget. Lawmakers are considering setting up a task force to look at what that’s meant for the condition of roads and bridges.

The Kansas Contractors Association says transfers from the highway fund have totaled more than $2 billion since 2010.

Republican Senator John Skubal is worried skimping on projects and maintenance is creating bigger costs for the future.

“We know that if the sweeps continue, we’re not going to have a program that is workable,” Skubal said.

Skubal wants the proposed task force review the list of delayed highway projects, evaluate whether new projects should be added and come up with a long-term funding plan.

But Republican Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning warns that rejuvenating the highway fund may have to wait until lawmakers figure out how to boost funding for schools.

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