The latest dire news from Topeka is that the projected revenues to fund essential programs and services of the state continue to deteriorate.  Now the estimated revenue shortfall is expected to exceed $500 million and will likely require further cuts in education, social services, and other important programs of the state. Every Kansan will be impacted both in the near term and in the future.



If nothing is done, and further budget cuts are made, young and old alike will be negatively affected. But it does not have to be that way as there is an alternative.



It is an alternative that twenty years of experience has soundly demonstrated will work. Both the 1989 Comprehensive Highway Plan and the 1999 Comprehensive Transportation Plan infused millions of dollars into the Kansas economy and put thousands of Kansans to work along the way — direct construction jobs and indirect jobs in the supply chain were created.  Every county and city in the state benefited from improvements to the transportation system. In the end, the safety and efficient movement of goods and people throughout the state were enhanced and significant improvements to Highway 69 were made.

The latest dire news from Topeka is that the projected revenues to fund essential programs and services of the state continue to deteriorate.  Now the estimated revenue shortfall is expected to exceed $500 million and will likely require further cuts in education, social services, and other important programs of the state. Every Kansan will be impacted both in the near term and in the future.

If nothing is done, and further budget cuts are made, young and old alike will be negatively affected. But it does not have to be that way as there is an alternative.

It is an alternative that twenty years of experience has soundly demonstrated will work. Both the 1989 Comprehensive Highway Plan and the 1999 Comprehensive Transportation Plan infused millions of dollars into the Kansas economy and put thousands of Kansans to work along the way — direct construction jobs and indirect jobs in the supply chain were created.  Every county and city in the state benefited from improvements to the transportation system. In the end, the safety and efficient movement of goods and people throughout the state were enhanced and significant improvements to Highway 69 were made.

While that is good, it is not the best part. The best part is that Kansans were put to work and revenue was created to fund education, social services, and all essential programs of the state.  We can do that again with the passage of HB 2650 — a new Comprehensive Transportation Plan for Kansas.

If we choose to do nothing, the Kansas economy will continue to decline, revenues will continue to go south and the state budget will be cut further.

Pass a new Comprehensive Transportation Plan and jobs will be created and state revenue increased, and additional miles of Highway 69 in southeast Kansas will be four-laned.

The Kansas Legislature reconvenes in a few days to wrap up the 2010 legislative session.  Their main task will be to pass a budget that will fund state government for next year.  Included in that final act should be the passage of a new Comprehensive Transportation Plan for the many benefits discussed above.

Contact your legislators and urge them to do the right thing for Kansas. Pass a new Comprehensive Transportation Plan that is robust and well-funded.

Ken Brock is the President of the Highway 69 Association of Kansas