KS Diverting of Transportation Funds Jeopardizes Projects

State lawmakers have withdrawn $1.4 billion earmarked for transportation improvements since 2000

A pattern of using state transportation funds for other budget priorities could jeopardize Kansas' ability to meet its obligations under a new 10-year highway improvement plan, according to the outgoing transportation secretary.

Kansas lawmakers have used $1.4 billion earmarked for transportation improvements since 2000, for such things as operations for the Kansas Highway Patrol, subsidized airline tickets in Wichita and state Medicaid programs, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

The state has diverted $238 million in transportation funds in the current fiscal year -- a nearly $50 million increase from the previous year.

"It is just not possible to take more from this program and then go back and credibly say to the public we're still going to do what was promised," transportation department Secretary Deb Miller said.

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