Graves Endorses Roberts
October 22, 2014

(AP)–Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach is likely to face questions during a televised debate about a proof-of-citizenship requirement for new Kansas voters enacted at his urging.

Kobach makes his second televised joint appearance with Democratic challenger Jean Schodorf on Wednesday night from the studio of Topeka public television station KTWU.

Kobach is seeking a second four-year term. He successfully pushed the Legislature to enact a 2013 law that requires new voters to provide election officials a birth certificate, passport or other proof of U.S. citizenship.

Schodorf voted for the policy as a state senator but says Kobach has poorly administered it.

Kobach contends the requirement prevents voter fraud. But the voter registrations of thousands of Kansas residents are on hold because they haven’t yet complied.

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K-DOT Chief Says Kansas Lawmakers Must Stop Raiding Highway Money
November 21, 2011

From the AP:

A pattern of using state transportation funds for other budget priorities could jeopardize Kansas’ ability to meet its obligations under a new 10-year highway improvement plan, according to the outgoing transportation secretary.

Kansas lawmakers have withdrawn $1.4 billion earmarked for transportation improvements since 2000, and used the money for such things as operations for the Kansas Highway Patrol, subsidized airline tickets in Wichita and state Medicaid programs, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported .

For the current fiscal year, the state has diverted $238 million in transportation funds – a nearly $50 million increase from the previous fiscal year.

“This is over,” transportation department Secretary Deb Miller said. “It is just not possible to take more from this program and then go back and credibly say to the public we’re still going to do what was promised.”

Miller, who is leaving the post in December after working for three governors, said the department was able to improve transportation infrastructure in the past decade despite raids on its funding because it had large reserves and refinanced bond debt for the work. The Kansas Department of Transportation also made extensive use of federal stimulus dollars for state highways, she said.

In the 2010 fiscal year, the department was required by the Legislature and then-Gov. Mark Parkinson to surrender $189 million.

Losses from the state highway fund in fiscal year 2011, which ended in June, were $190 million.

Gov. Sam Brownback authorized removal of $205 million from KDOT in the current fiscal year to avoid cuts to the state Medicaid program. The state also forwarded $33 million from the agency to the Kansas Highway Patrol.

“I don’t want to imply to anybody any of this is easy or that you can continue to do it year after year after year,” Miller said. “We’re having to manage very tightly.” Brownback said the state should seek alternatives to another large withdrawal of transportation funds inĀ  preparing a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.