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Government

Kansas Transportation Funding Might Help Balance State Budget

Kansas lawmakers may dip into highway funding to help balance the state’s budget.

The state Senate’s top budget officials say transportation money could help fill the gap. Andover, Kan., Republican Senator Ty Masterson chairs the Ways and Means Committee. He says transportation is a big expense to the state and Kansas has already built a healthy system.

"Pulling back to a point of preservation, and not this aggressive expansion, wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing," Masterson said. "And it wouldn’t be prolonged."

Bob Totten with the Kansas Contractors Association says he believes there is support in the legislature for the current 10-year, $8 billion transportation plan. He’s concerned cutting transportation funding could cost jobs and hurt industries like agriculture.

"Agriculture is #1 in the state of Kansas," Totten said. "You've got to have a product that can get to the markets outside the state."

Lawmakers will work on filling the budget hole when they return to Topeka in January.

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