Economic Lifelines, the state’s leading transportation coalition, today announced Michael Johnston has been selected as their new Chief Executive Officer. A former state senator from Parsons, Michael Johnston served 14 years in the Kansas Senate, including service as a legislative leader. He went on to serve as a cabinet secretary, leading the Kansas Department of Transportation. He also served as President and CEO of the Kansas Turnpike from 1995-2013.
“I am excited about being chosen to lead the effort and equally pleased Capitol Strategies will continue to work with our lobbying effort and Strategic Communications of Kansas will continue to manage our communication needs,” said Johnston.
“For decades, Economic Lifelines has led efforts to support the implementation and funding of our state’s comprehensive transportation programs. Now more than ever, it is vital that we protect the commitments made to Kansas communities and help them grow through the economic impact of T-WORKS and all transportation programs.”
T-WORKS, the state’s 10 year, $8 billion transportation plan, has proven to be a vital program for all areas of the state, creating needed jobs, spurring economic development and ensuring safety on Kansas roads. Since its passage, over $2.1 billion has been diverted from transportation to fund other areas of the budget. The transfers have resulted in nearly $300 million in postponed maintenance projects.
“As the state continues to face budget challenges, Michael’s expertise and stature will help us as we fight to protect T-WORKS and transportation dollars,” said Johnnie Koger, Economic Lifelines Co-Chair. “His background in both the legislative and executive branches of government gives him an important perspective in preserving the important investment in our state’s transportation infrastructure.”
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Economic Lifelines is the statewide coalition of organizations and community groups which provide the grassroots support for Comprehensive Transportation Programs in Kansas. Its members believe that the economic development and jobs that are generated by such programs are vital to the stability and growth of the Kansas economy and that of individual communities.