Topeka Key state officials Monday said increasing taxes for a new transportation plan would help the economy by providing jobs.
“This is an investment in our state, and our local districts, and with that there is going to be a cost,” said state Sen. Dwayne Umbarger, R-Thayer, and chairman of a special House-Senate committee on transportation.
The committee reviewed various tax increases, including adding a sales tax to motor fuel sales, increasing the per gallon tax on fuel and various increases to vehicle registration fees.
The most recent 10-year transportation plan has expired and highway advocates are pushing for a new one when the Legislature convenes the 2010 session in January.
The effort comes at a time when state government is reeling from revenue shortfalls and four rounds of budget cuts with another round expected soon.
The New York Times reports that U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, was one of more than a dozen House members who recently entered into the Congressional Record a statement that was actually written by lobbyists.
While showing opposition to the health care bill debated in the House earlier this month, the statement supported a specific provision of the bill.
Both Republicans and Democrats entered statements in the official record that were ghostwritten by lobbyists employed by the drug company Genentech and two Washington D.C. law firms, the Times reported.
From the Times story: In nearly identical words, three Republicans -- Representatives K. Michael Conaway of Texas, Lynn Jenkins of Kansas and Lee Terry of Nebraska -- said they had criticized many provisions of the bill, and "rightfully so."
But, each said, "I do believe the sections relating to the creation of a market for biosimilar products is one area of the bill that strikes the appropriate balance in providing lower cost options."
Kansas University is seeking approval of $25.6 million in bonds to finance projects aimed at reducing energy costs.
An energy audit at KU identified numerous energy savings projects in 44 buildings that will result in utility savings of $2.2 million per year, according to a Kansas Board of Regents staff memo.
Those projects include lighting and steam system improvements, water conservation, and lab improvements in the Haworth and Malott Halls, and the Simons Biosciences Research building.
KU has asked the Kansas Board of Regents to allow it to issue bonds to hire Energy Solutions Professionals of Overland Park to do the projects. The regents will take up the issue during its monthly meeting on Thursday.