An improving financial picture for the state will give Kansas University and other regents institutions the best chance at receiving additional funding for deferred maintenance, Douglas County legislators said this morning.
Legislators told members of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and elected local leaders at a breakfast meeting that a backlog of maintenance projects at KU and other universities should receive strong consideration, given that tax revenues have been coming in at higher-than-projected levels due to an uptick in the state's economy.
"The state of Kansas has not been doing what it needs to do in that area," Sen. Roger Pine said of the maintenance issue. "It is an area we have to address."
The state's new Speaker of the House, Rep. Melvin Neufeld, also has expressed an interest in the issue. But some Douglas County legislators have noted they're concerned he hasn't identified a funding source for a program.
"I'm still interested in where the money is going to come from," said Rep. Barbara Ballard, who supports funding the deferred maintenance project. "I've had that conversation with him. I'm pleased though that he is at least interested."
A majority of the county's legislators gathered this morning for the chamber's annual legislative priorities breakfast at the Eldridge Hotel.
For more on the story, watch 6News at 6 p.m. today and read Friday's Journal-World.