Toll money likely won't go toward schools in Kansas

| 3/20/2007

A proposal by Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to use a large turnpike toll increase to pay for building upkeep at state universities appears to be dead in the water.

According to the Hutchinson News, the proposal has come under strong attack by both Republicans and Democrats.

State Senate Budget Committee Chairman Dwayne Umbarger, R-Thayer, told "Land Line Now" on XM Satellite Radio the legislature needs to come up with some way to pay for a $600 million backlog of maintenance at the schools - but that it doesn't look like the governor's plan will fly.

"It's legitimate, but (the tolling plan) has received a lot of opposition because they feel that money needs to be a designated source of revenue for road improvement," Umbarger said. "It's hard to argue against that."

If the governor's proposed toll increases had been phased in, the toll for most tractor-trailers to travel the full length of the turnpike would increase from just about $26 to a little more than $38.

?- By Reed Black, staff writer