May 7, 2015 – Economic Lifelines calls on legislature to keep promise to fund T-WORKS

Economic Lifelines, the state’s leading transportation coalition, has adopted a resolution calling on policymakers to honor their commitment to fund the T-WORKS Program as provided in the original legislation. Recognizing that there is a significant budget deficit and a number of tax and revenue proposals being considered by the 2015 Kansas Legislature, the Economic Lifelines Board unanimously adopted a resolution in support of TWORKS and its current funding structure.

Whereas, Economic Lifelines has successfully advocated for Kansas transportation programs for over 25 years. The advocacy helped secure passage of necessary funding by the Legislature for T-WORKS, the state’s 10 year, $8.2 billion transportation program and includes ensuring taxpayer-provided transportation funds are used for their intended purpose.

Whereas, Economic Lifelines joins the 95 percent of Kansans who support T-WORKS and consider it a top priority in the Kansas budget. Economic Lifelines opposes all efforts to reduce funding for transportation or change the finance formula for T-WORKS, including the 4/10 cent sales tax dedicated to the program.

Whereas, Economic Lifelines believes any new funding available to the Kansas Department of Transportation should be used for any projects postponed as a result of budget cuts, and not used to allow further transfers from the highway fund.

Whereas, the state must stop relying on transportation-dedicated funding to balance the state’s budget. Economic Lifelines believes that the State Highway Fund’s unstable ending balance in FY 2017 must be addressed to assure long-term stability to the program.

Be it resolved that the Board of Directors of Economic Lifelines reiterates its support for the T-WORKS program and restoration of the funds that have been diverted and opposition to any further transfer of funds or changes to the statutory funding provisions approved to complete the 10 year program.

“There is no money left in the Highway Fund for another short term budget fix,” said Johnnie Koger, Co-Chair of Economic Lifelines. “It is time the Legislature provides a fix to the structural imbalance in the state’s budget. Kansas communities need the long-term stability these transportation investments provide to help them attract new business, create jobs and grow the Kansas economy.”

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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.

T-WORKS is a 10-year, $8 billion transportation program designed to create jobs, preserve highway infrastructure, and provide multimodal economic development opportunities across the state.

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