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Transportation at Fore of Kansas Recovery

Kansas officials are investing in a new transportation program to help lift the state out of the recession.

"I don't think there's any doubt that if we were to pass a new transportation program, you would see a lot of people who are put back to work," State Senate House Minority Leader Paul Davis told the Lawrence Journal-World & News. "There would be an economic stimulus effect."

Such plans gave the state a boost during milder recessions in the '90s and 2000s, according to Senate President Steve Morris.

Over the past year, the state government has cut transportation spending by $257 million. But the new program will invest $8.2 billion over the next 10 years in all types of transportation, including mass transit, roads, and the railroad. The money will come from new taxes, fees, and bonding authority for the Department of Transportation.

Federal stimulus money is already funding new, shovel-ready projects in the state.

"Those construction companies in our state," Morris said, "they need to know that we are still in business and we want to keep them in business in Kansas and provide those quality jobs."

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