EL NEWS: Kansas Transportation Issues to be Evaluated Under New Legislative Proposal

Topeka, Kan. —Transportation issues in Kansas would be evaluated with an eye toward developing a new plan to address them under a proposal introduced today in the Kansas Legislature. The establishment of a newly formed transportation task force would set in motion a statewide initiative to identify current and future transportation needs throughout Kansas.

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Embodied in a bill introduced by Sen. John Skubal (R-Overland Park) in the Senate Ways and Means Committee, the task force would be comprised of legislators, transportation stakeholders from the private sector, and other Kansans representing interests ranging from local units of government to public transit agencies. It was patterned after a similar task force appointed to develop the 2010 T-WORKS program.

“I’m excited to have our state engage in a productive dialogue on transportation,” stated Sen Skubal. “Far too often in public policy, we react to situations rather than plan for them. I am hopeful we can get a handle on how our current program should be adjusted and what the best return on investment will be moving forward.”

Organizations interested in advancing transportation and economic development issues in Kansas voiced support for the task force, noting that ongoing transfers from the highway fund to other areas of state government have left much of the 2010 program unfinished.

“We are encouraged by the growing number of elected officials – and other Kansans – who are expressing support for a renewed emphasis on transportation,” said Tara Mays, executive director of Economic Lifelines, a statewide coalition of transportation supporters. “It’s time to build a vision for our state’s transportation system, enabling communities throughout the state to grow and prosper.”

The proposal would set a target of January 2019 for the task force to complete its work.

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