On Tuesday, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Senator Laura Kelly visited Arma and Pittsburg as part of a campaign tour.
Her focus was on the completion of Highway 69, which she said is possible through a stable budget.
“As governor, I will balance the budget without raising taxes I will make sure our state’s budget is stable so we can invest in our roads, like Highway 69,” Kelly said. “We will be fiscally responsible so we can fulfill the promises that have been made to you for decades.”
Kelly said it was Brownback’s policies which halted the project.
“The only way to finish this project and others across the state is by making sure the Brownback experiment is a thing of the past and making sure Kris Kobach is not elected governor,” she said. “We need to make sure Kansas has a stable, balanced budget so that we can invest in our roads.”
Kelly said she and her party have always supported the comprehensive transportation plan, because of the safety and economic growth it would provide. Kelly also said she has a record of supporting fiscally-responsible budgets and the comprehensive transportation plan.
“We already budgeted for it [Highway 69 project] and I believe the money is there, in the Kansas Department of Transportation,” Kelly said. “We have moved this to the highest priority and so I believe we can make that an investment.”
After Kelly’s press conference in Arma, she visited with the Highway 69 Association in Pittsburg to learn about the progress of the highway and what is needed from legislature to continue progress.
The Highway 69 Association asked her to sign a pledge, which Kelly said she agreed to because she already made votes on this matter.
“I’ll go even further and pledge to you, as we go forward with the transportation plan, I’ve always felt Southeast Kansas has been ignored.
“I also recognise this is probably the lowest socio-economic region in state in that it is imperative that the state be a good partner for southeast Kansas for people to prosper.”
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.