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Martinellis Little Italy
election 2017

$20 Million Topeka Power Plant Criticized

Associated Press - January 21, 2016 12:37 pm

A top Democratic lawmaker says he is joining the crowded race to replace Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. House Minority Leader Jim Ward of Wichita announced his candidacy Saturday. He had named former Democratic Party chairman Lee Kinch as his campaign treasurer earlier this week.

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 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.


Associated Press information from: The Topeka Capital-Journal