After learning recently of HB 2234 I performed some research and as a long-time citizen of Kansas what I learned disturbs me. While modifications have been made, its current wording allows turnpike equipment, staff and “other resources” (whatever that means) to be used on state highways. Legislators can say what they want but there is nothing in this bill to prevent future administrations from indirectly or directly using toll revenue. This greatly concerns me! The Kansas Turnpike is completely self-funded through tolls. Those using the turnpike are the ones that pay for its upkeep. As a turnpike user, I want the resources, i.e., equipment, supplies, staff, which tolls provide to be used for the turnpike and not diverted to state roads. What really got my attention though, was seeing the 2012 K-TAG numbers which shows the percentage of households in a community with a K-TAG. My hometown of Haysville was listed with 56 percent and El Dorado was also listed with 37 percent. All of these people would be directly impacted by this bill. Are they concerned like me? Or are they okay with the possibility their tolls could indirectly be used for other state highways? Or, do they understand that this proposal taxes turnpike drivers to pay for other roads? No one seems to be asking questions and pushing for answers in regard to this bill. If you’re concerned I urge to you let our legislators know.
- Amanda Dobbs, Haysville