Legislators blast $20 million deal for power plant in Topeka

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Lawmakers from both parties are criticizing Gov. Sam Brownback's administration for its handling of a contract for a new state power plant in Topeka.

House and Senate members on Wednesday said a $20 million lease-purchase deal for the plant was done without legislative oversight and essentially ensures that the Docking State Office Building will be demolished, which some lawmakers oppose.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the cost of the 15-year contract is millions more than previously disclosed. And the first payment due in March wasn't included in the budget Brownback submitted this month.

Brownback spokeswoman Eileen Hawley says the lease involved "off-budget appropriations" and the payments didn't need to be included in the budget proposal.

The state's current power plant is in the basement of the Docking building.