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Senate Leaders Considering KDOT/KTA Merger

A limited merger of the Kansas Turnpike Authority and the Kansas Department of Transportation recently passed the House, but leaders in the Kansas Senate may be interested in something a bit more comprehensive.

Senate President Susan Wagle, a Republican from Wichita, said she'd like to examine how the KTA budget is spent and have the state oversee the agency. Senate Vice President Jeff King, an Independence Republican, said lawmakers need to ask if the transportation system is being run as efficiently as possible. “And I don’t think you can answer that question unless you look at the intersection between the Turnpike Authority and KDOT and whether that intersection can be more efficient,” King said.

During the recent House debate on a limited merger plan, some critics said the turnpike is running fine as it currently stands, and merging the agencies may not create the savings some lawmakers predict.