TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Lawmakers have approved a partial merger of the Kansas Turnpike Authority and the Kansas Department of Transportation.
The bill now heads to Governor Sam Brownback who included the merger in his proposed budget. Supporters say the consolidation will save the state money.
Critics feared the proposal was an attempt to move tol money from the turnpike to the highway department. The concern was the highway departent has traditionally had money taken from it to fund other stae operations. Lawmakers changed the legislation to essentially restrict toll money to turnpike roads and bridges.
Critics also said the legislation was aimed at getting rid of the Democrat that oversees the Kansas Turnpike, something Brownback's office denied. Under the bill, the secretery of transportation will be in charge of the KTA.