Senate Approves Changes To Kansas Turnpike

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ The Kansas Senate has approved a bill that puts the Secretary of Transportation in charge of the Kansas Turnpike Authority.

The bill approved Wednesday also prohibits the state from using toll revenue for anything other than operating the 236-mile Turnpike.

Gov. Sam Brownback had proposed putting the independent Turnpike Authority under control of the state transportation department. He said it would save the state $30 million over two years and avoid redundancies.

Opponents who worried the state would use turnpike toll revenue for other purposes pushed the amendment to prohibit that from happening. But they said the turnpike authority's most important decision was hiring a chief executive, and the bill gives that authority to the transportation department.

The bill now goes back to the House.