Transportation officials in the state of Kansas could soon get the go-ahead to take a comprehensive look at the state’s road and bridge needs. A piece of legislation halfway through the statehouse calls for a transportation task force to examine the issue.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has asked to be included in the proposed group that would be made up of state and local leaders, and other organizations.
The Senate voted 33-5 to advance the bill to create a 30-member task force to look at transportation needs. As introduced, SB285 called for a 27-member group. The amended bill has moved to the House.
Among the spots that would be filled on the task force include representatives from the state House and Senate, the Kansas Association of Counties, Kansas Contractors Association, the Kansas Motor Carriers Association, and one member appointed by the governor.
Mike Matousek, OOIDA director of government affairs, has communicated to the bill’s sponsor the Association’s interest in being involved.
“We have more than 160,000 members nationwide, including roughly 2,700 members residing in Kansas,” Matousek wrote in a letter to Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairwoman Carolyn McGinn. “We also have tens of thousands of members in neighboring states that operate regularly on Kansas highways.”
Matousek notes that the Kansas Motor Carriers Association is on the record with McGinn’s committee in support of OOIDA’s inclusion.
“As an Association that represents 160,000 road users, many of which operate nationwide and are subject to various road use taxes and fees in Kansas, we can provide a unique and necessary perspective to help the task force fulfill its mission.”
He added that OOIDA has been involved with various transportation-related activities in Kansas, including active participation on the state’s Truck Parking Advisory Committee and the Kansas Freight Advisory Committee.
The task force would evaluate items that include the state transportation system, including roads and bridges; the current use of the state highway fund; current transportation funding; and identify additional necessary transportation projects.
The bill awaits additional consideration in the House Transportation Committee.
To view other legislative activities of interest for Kansas, click here.
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