Today I woke up early to visit with, and learn from, the Eastern Chapter of the KSPE. Buckle up, this is a longer post. There were three big reasons I wanted to attend: 1) Learning about new things is fun 2) transportation is one of the far-reaching challenges of any state and 3) A constituent is a member, so I wanted to make an extra effort as he said he would be there (Hi B!)
The executive summary is that since the Brownback tax cuts, money that nominally going to transportation funding via gas taxes and trucking fees was instead going to plug the holes in a conservative tax experiment. To be fair, every administration in recent memory took some amount of money from the transportation fund, Democrat and Republican alike, usually in the $100 million range. Big numbers in normal times. In recent years that $100 million climbed to $450-500 million. The result of this is that there is less money for transportation projects in the state, including modernization, highway maintenance, and even city/county (read local) highway projects.
What does this mean for the 121st? Less money for projects that will help our district grow, and less money for K7 maintenance. This is an important issue for our district in particular because I see the district as a growth story in progress, especially thanks to it's geographic and transportation advantages. In the 121st, we have K7, K10, the interchange between the two, the New Century airport, are right next door to the Edgerton intermodal logistics area, railways, FedEx ground, an Aldi distribution center, and an expanse of undeveloped land abutting K7. That coupled with a residential population 38% more likely to have post-secondary education than Kansas at large means that the conditions are right to advertise the district for commerce.
If elected I would work towards four things: lessening the state's dependence on transportation fund transfers, reporting where any reallocated monies were moved, making sure the 121st got its fair share of transportation funding as benefits it's positioning as a growing area of Kansas, and watching KDOT to make sure that projects selected are a good value for Kansas.
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