Kan. House OKs bill to boost KDOT, turnpike ties

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- The Kansas House has approved a bill that supporters say is an attempt to encourage cooperation between the Kansas Turnpike Authority and the state Department of Transportation.

The 81-41 vote Monday sent the measure to the Senate.

Some House members fear that the bill is a step toward a merger and diverting revenues from the 236-mile turnpike to other uses.

But the measure stops far short of Gov. Sam Brownback's proposal for a merger of the transportation agencies. He contends such a merger would reduce costs.

The bill would expand the specific authority of KDOT and the Turnpike Authority so they can provide administrative services to each other. Also, the two agencies could work jointly on roads connecting to the turnpike.