Figures show Kansas had biggest per-capita drop in road spending even before budget problems

Sam Brownback
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (KSN File Photo)

TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) — Budget problems in Kansas prompted Republican Gov. Sam Brownback to propose siphoning off transportation dollars to help erase projected shortfalls.

But even before then, federal data showed that Kansas had the biggest decade-long decline in per-person spending on highways of any state.

Brownback is facing bipartisan criticism for proposals to divert $858 million from highway projects through June 2017 to deal with budget problems arising after lawmakers reduced personal income taxes in 2012 and 2013 at his urging.

But data compiled by the Federal Highway Administration shows per-capital highway spending was 29 percent lower during the state’s 2013 fiscal year than in fiscal 2003 — or $490 compared with nearly $695.

Kansas ranked fifth in per-capita spending in 2003 and dropped to 28th a decade later.

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