Capitol Update: Sen. Skubal says mounting maintenance issues for Kansas roads, bridges cause concern

Each legislative session, we provide the Shawnee Mission area’s elected officials with the chance to share their thoughts about what’s happening in the state capitol. Rep. Tom Cox, Rep. Rui Xu and Sen. John Skubal are scheduled to send updates this week. Here’s Sen. Skubal’s filing:

About 7 p.m. on Friday, April 6, we finished the regular session, I need to be back in Topeka April 30 to work on budget with the House. Others return May 1. While we did not get everything accomplished, I would have liked to have seen Medicaid expansion debated on the Senate floor. One bill that did get fully passed will fund our schools. The Senate passed a “clean” school bill that was amended by the House and later resolved in conference committee. I hope the school bill satisfies the court; everyone is tired of the lawsuit(s).

Transportation funding is an issue that consumed a lot of my time. We need to fund maintenance of over 140,000 miles of Kansas roads and over 24,000 bridges. Over 3,000 bridges are in need of maintenance or replacement due to age and deficient conditions. We will continue to struggle with this issue until we have a constant revenue stream.

The Senate passed a hemp bill that will allow farms in western Kansas to produce a crop that requires less water to grow. It is a crop that can be converted to cloth for clothing in addition to many other common uses.

When we return to Topeka, I hope that we can pass the budget, continue our work on Medicaid and agree on a date to adjourn the session. I will continue to be a voice for our schools and roads and you.