Kansas governor recommends toll increase to fund education

| 2/2/2007

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius wants truckers and four-wheelers who use the state’s turnpike to pay for a backlog of building maintenance projects at seven state universities.

According to information on the governor’s Web site, Sebelius has proposed raising tolls on the Kansas Turnpike by up to 5 percent a year for each of the next seven years, which she says will generate more than $700 million.

OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer told “Land Line Now” on XM Satellite Radio that using toll roads to fund projects that are unrelated to transportation is “misguided.”

“Clearly, highway funds should be used for highways, rather than any other purpose,” Spencer said. “While it’s tempting for elected officials to look at revenue streams as a way to fund other activities, it’s that kind of thinking that undermines our highway system. It certainly will in Kansas, and it certainly has all around the country.”

Spencer said it is the duty of elected officials to promote responsible spending, and the duty of concerned citizens to make sure officials are doing just that.

A call to the Kansas governor’s office for comment had not been returned as of press time.

– By Reed Black, staff writer