TOPEKA — Following dire predictions about the state budget, Economic Lifelines chief executive Michael Johnston, issued the following statement: “This latest plan to continue the choke-hold on transportation funding is bad news for all Kansans. The T-WORKS program has been a proven job creator and has added value and economic activity during a time when our state has struggled. We urge Kansas legislators to go back to the drawing board and explore alternative methods to balancing the budget.”
Over the last six years, the transportation budget – taxpayer dollars which ensure the safety of Kansans and the viability of our economy – has been used to fill holes in the budget of various shapes and sizes. This has always come with the promise that critical transportation projects would not be impacted significantly. This time, the cut is too large and it is clear that the promise has been broken. With this latest announcement, the administration has finally owned up to the fact that their transportation policies have significantly impaired T-WORKS and killed good jobs.
These policies have not delayed projects, they have effectively canceled them. It is time for legislators to understand the gravity of the situation and we call on them to find other ways to balance the state budget.
Economic Lifelines is the statewide coalition of organizations and community groups which provide the grassroots support for Comprehensive Transportation Programs in Kansas. Its members believe that the economic development and jobs that are generated by such programs are vital to the stability and growth of the Kansas economy and that of individual communities. The following municipalities, companies and other organizations are members of Economic Lifelines:
AAA Kansas, Berry Companies Inc., City of Great Bend, City of Lansing, City of Lawrence, City of Newton, City of Pittsburg, Douglas County, Finney County Economic Development, Foley Equipment Company, Hamm Inc., The Heavy Constructors Association of Greater Kansas City, Highway 69 Association, Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce, Jobs Inc., Kansas Aggregate Producers Associations, Kansas Asphalt Pavement Association, Kansas Association of Airports, Kansas City Building & Construction Trades Council, Kansas Contractors Association, Kansas Good Roads Inc., Kansas Historic Highway 66 Association, Kansas Motor Carriers Association, Kansas Operating Engineers, Kansas Public Transit Association, Kansas Ready-Mix Concrete Association, Kansas Turnpike Authority, Kingman County Economic Development, Koger Agency Inc., Lenexa Chamber of Commerce, Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, MO/KAN LECET, MO/KS American Concrete Pavement Association, Monarch Cement Company, Murphy Tractor, Oberlin-Decatur Area Economic Development Corp., Olathe Chamber of Commerce, Overland Park Chamber of Commerce, PCA South Central Cement Promotion Association, Road Builders Machinery & Supply Co. Inc., Salina Chamber of Commerce, S.P.I.R.I.T., Topeka Chamber of Commerce, Travel Industry of Kansas, Watco Companies Inc.