Kansas’ budget problems touching cherished highway system

Kansas voters who re-elected a Republican governor known for aggressive tax cutting are learning that the state won’t solve its budget problems without putting its cherished highway system in the cross hairs.

Gov. Sam Brownback and the Legislature this past week worked out plans for closing a $344 million budget deficit by cutting education spending and siphoning money away from highway projects, along with other measures.

Brownback argued throughout his successful re-election campaign that Kansas could have the income cuts he’s championed without sacrificing essential services, including good highways.

Even a few of the Legislature’s most austerity minded members were taken aback by plans to delay some yet-unidentified road and bridge projects.