Kansas lawmakers pass transportation plan; regard it as a stimulus tool

The $10 billion, 10-year project will help counter the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.

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March 20, 2020 - 4:07 PM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislators on Thursday approved a new, 10-year transportation program that many lawmakers see as a much-needed, $10 billion stimulus to counter the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Republican-controlled Legislature made funding highway, road and bridge improvements a priority as it tackled measures for addressing the new coronavirus and finished a $19.9 billion annual budget to keep state government operating after June. Lawmakers finished what they considered their most pressing work before an early and unusually long spring break.

The transportation legislation was approved 112-3 in the House and 37-2 in the Senate. Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly is expected to sign it because it contains her proposals to use existing funds to pay for $1 billion a year in new projects and to pick projects every two years, rather than all 10 years’ worth at the start. The measure also ensures that $300 million worth of projects can be expedited with a fast-track, designing-while-building process to get a few big ones moving.

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