Kansas House approves bill setting stage for new transportation plan

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The Kansas House on Wednesday approved a task force to study the state’s future transportation needs.

The bill sets the stage for developing a new transportation program after the current 10-year, $8 billion plan ends. The vote was 123-1.

The bill calls for the creation of a 23-person committee, including Kansas residents who must be affiliated  with any one of an array of industries, including contractors, construction, agriculture, rail, oil and gas, aerospace and asphalt, among others.

Only residents appointed by the Kansas Association of Counties and the League of Kansas Municipalities wouldn’t need to belong to one of those interest groups.

The appointments in the House bill shake out this way

  • A House member appointed by the speaker of the House
  • A House member appointed by the majority leader of the House.
  • A House member appointed by the minority leader of the House.
  • A senator appointed by the Senate president.
  • A senator appointed by the Senate majority leader.
  •  A senator appointed by the Senate minority leader.
  •  Chairman of the House Transportation Committee.
  •  Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Public Safety Budget.
  • Ranking minority member of the House Transportation Committee.
  • Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.
  •  Chair of the Senate Ways and Means transportation subcommittee.
  •  Ranking minority member of the Senate Transportation Committee.
  •  Two Kansas residents appointed by the speaker of the House.
  •  One Kansas resident appointed by the majority leader of the House.
  • One Kansas resident appointed by the minority leader of the House.
  • Two Kansas residents appointed by the Senate president.
  • One Kansas resident appointed by the majority leader of the Senate.
  • One Kansas resident appointed by the minority leader of the Senate.
  • One Kansas resident appointed by the governor.
  • One Kansas resident who lives in a county with a population of less than 40,000 people appointed by the Kansas Association of Counties.
  • One Kansas resident appointed by the League of Kansas Municipalities.

Other committee members who would not vote include the secretary of transportation, the secretary of revenue, the secretary of agriculture and the chief executive officer of the Kansas Turnpike Authority or their designees

The committee would be broken into subcommittees that would examine various state transportation needs.  Each committee would have up to 11 members.

The subcommittees would look into transportation funding, local road projects, delivery methods such as tolling and public-private partnerships, public transportation and pedestrian issues, and economic development and freight. One subcommittee would study aerospace issues.