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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Transportation secretary has no specifics on savings if agency takes over turnpike

February 5, 2013

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— Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Mike King on Tuesday said he had no specifics on how the state would save $30 million over the next two years by taking over the Kansas Turnpike Authority.

Gov. Sam Brownback has called for KDOT to assume authority over the daily operations of the 236-mile turnpike, although the KTA would remain in existence.

In his budget proposal, Brownback has built in savings of $15 million for each of the next two fiscal years that will result “from greater cooperation between the two agencies.”

On Tuesday, the Senate Ways and Means Committee’s ranking minority member, Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, asked King about those savings.

King said he had no list of specific items that would produce those savings.

Kelly asked if the $30 million figure was just an arbitrary number.

King said if the Legislature wants KDOT to find those savings, it will. He said it was probable that most of those savings would come from efficiencies in KDOT rather than the KTA.

Comments

bear1956 1 year, 2 months ago

It looks like another power grab by Brownback. The legislation that created the KTA set it up as a quasi-public organization. The governor does not have direct authority over it like he does KDOT. He appoints 3 of the 5 members of the board of directors but 2 are members of the legislature. If it can be brought into KDOT then he gains more power.

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autie 1 year, 2 months ago

Hmmmm. I guess it is no wonder Deb Miller bailed. She would have had an answer to Kelly's question. She would have had a sound plan. I think Brownie ran off one very fine administrator with that one.

2

KUGreenMachine 1 year, 2 months ago

Hopefully this gets shut down. I can live with paying the toll to get to work every day knowing that the highway I am driving on is always kept up and one of the nicest highways I've every driven on. If they merge the KTA with the government run department you know that toll money would be shifted elsewhere, like the ridiculous 20 year reconstruction/ redirection project of 435 in Overland Park, that's if it even goes to any transportation project. The actual Turnpike would not get the attention it is now getting to keep it in top shape because they'll deem that it's fine and can go a few years without any improvements needed. The government needs to leave the KTA alone and maybe save some money by leaving round a bout projects off the table. Every road doesn't need a roundabout!

1

Orwell 1 year, 2 months ago

You'd think if there were $30 mil in inefficiencies at KDOT someone would have noticed by now.

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geekin_topekan 1 year, 2 months ago

By Grabthar's hammer.........what a savings.

2

tolawdjk 1 year, 2 months ago

It's like a reality version of Blazing Saddles...now with someone running back to find a $#*+load of dimes cause the toll roads are too good.

Only to find that the town is a bunch of fake business fronts....

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jesse499 1 year, 2 months ago

How about saving a lot of waste and send Brownback and his flunkies down the road.

1

Kris Norton 1 year, 2 months ago

disappointing to me how a cabinet position member over transportation does not know the specifics of a transportation issue such as this...that has been considered for decades? Both Secretary of KDOT and a member of the KTA Authority Board? I hope whoever makes the decisions gets this figured out so the taxpayers (including me) can save this money!

4

Bike_lover 1 year, 2 months ago

He wants to take the tolls from the road, let the road fall apart and give the money to his corporate buddies. Then they'll raise tolls.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 2 months ago

The money may not be spent on roads. This admin may want to use the money for say corporate welfare.

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UneasyRider 1 year, 2 months ago

So the secretary says if he's told to find the savings, he will. But at same time. he admits he has no idea where. Seems as Brownback has no idea what he's doing or saying. Does he only follow the instructions he receives from the Conservative wing of GOP?

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oletimer 1 year, 2 months ago

all brownback is looking at is the money made by the KTA. he needs that money to support his idiotic plans for his budget. There is nothing good that can come with the state taking over the KTA. While I have no feelings either way about Kdot, the fact brownback wants it is enough for me to hate the idea. He has no idea what is good or bad. the guy needs run out of town

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Bruce Bertsch 1 year, 2 months ago

How about saving money by actually making KDOT more like the KTA and skip the merger. KTA isn't broken, why fix it?

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appleaday 1 year, 2 months ago

And, just like everything else Brownback does, we'll achieve the savings by cutting the budget even if it means turning the turnpike into a gravel road.

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eljakeo 1 year, 2 months ago

I think what he meant to say was "Yes, yes it is just an arbitrary number."

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