It was a busy week last week for the state and for transportation. With passage of HB 2178, which raises personal income taxes and eliminates the so-called “LLC Loophole,” in both the house and the senate, the legislature has taken a step toward stabilizing the state’s revenue. It also gives us a hope for less dependence on T-WORKS funding to balance the budget in the future. The bill will now go to the Governor, who may sign, veto, or let it become law without a signature after 10 days.
KDOT informed committee members in the house and senate that they will be unable at this point to complete all T-WORKS projects before 2020 and will be forced to evaluate needs on a more month by month basis to determine what projects can be let based on their other project payouts and overall expenses. Additionally, their cash flow projections showed only $44m in lettings for FY18 and indicates that they will reach a $0 ending balance heading into FY19.
Recognizing the need for additional preservation work, the House Public Safety and Budget Committee has taken a step in the right direction. This week the subcommittee added a proviso that would direct KDOT to bond $400m to meet preservation needs in FY18 and FY19. This is a significant step to building a bridge to completing the T-WORKS program. We are hopeful that the full appropriations committee will give this proposal an endorsement to allow the agency to preserve the system at the current levels. We encourage members to reach out to those on the committee to ask them for their support of these important budget provisos.
Economic Lifelines Update
We held our first Economic Lifelines membership meeting of the year where we reached a consensus on the need to begin advocating for a “Bridge to T-WORKS Completion.” We are working to put together a robust advocacy toolkit for members to guide discussions with legislators.
Be on the lookout for a new focus called “Member Mondays.” Beginning in March, we will highlight a new member each Monday with the hope of encouraging interaction on social media as well as highlighting the important role that these companies have played in our state.
Economic Lifelines members get full credit for their role in ensuring robust funding for our highways – making Kansas safer and stronger. We stand ready to support the future of these critical investments and I thank you for your willingness to stand up and be counted again this year. Your continued interaction with legislators is critical at this time.
Legislative Coffees & Other Events
This weekend, there will be LOTS of chances to speak in person with your legislators. You will find a list with lots of other opportunities on our website as well.
Saturday, February 25
- Garden City – 10a @ St. Catherine Hospital, Classroom B (301 E Spruce)
- Lenexa – 10a @ Lackman Library (15345 87th Pkwy)
- Overland Park – 10a @ Central Resource Library (9875 W 87th St)
- WaKeeney – 8a @ Jake & Chet’s Cafe (233 S 1st St)
- Hill City – 9:30a @ Buck’s Bar & Grill (222 N Pomeroy Ave)
- Hoxie – 11a @ Bowen Scout House (1041 Sheridan St)
- Colby – 1p @ Colby Community College (1255 S Range)
- Oakley – 2:30p @ Buffalo Bill Cultural Center (3083 US-83)
- Quinter – 4p @ Jay Johnson Public Library (411 Main St)
Sunday, February 26
- Wichita – 2p @ Wichita Public Library, Alford Branch (3447 S Meridian)
Thank you for your for your work in advancing transportation interests in Kansas. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions, suggestions or concerns. I can be reached by email or phone at 785-969-9270.
Tara Mays, executive director