Kansas transportation secretary supports Obama’s jobs bill; KDOT unveils $650 million in road, bridge projects

Her boss may not like it, but Kansas Department of Transportation Deb Miller said Thursday she’d like President Barack Obama’s jobs bill to be approved.

“We’d be very excited if the jobs bill passed,” Miller said. She said passage of the bill would mean $260 million in additional revenue for transportation projects in Kansas.

Miller’s boss, Gov. Sam Brownback, has expressed opposition to the jobs bill.

Obama has proposed a $447 billion bill, saying it would help jumpstart the economy. It would extend and expand a cut in payroll taxes paid by employees and it includes funds for roads, bridges, schools and grants to local governments to pay salaries of teachers and first responders. It would raise funds through tax increases on wealthier people.

Brownback appointed Miller, making her the lone holdover Cabinet member from the administrations of Govs. Kathleen Sebelius and Mark Parkinson, who are both Democrats. Brownback is a Republican.

Miller’s comment about Obama’s proposal came in response to a question during a news conference in which she unveiled a two-year schedule of $650 million in transportation projects.

Most of the projects are described as preservation jobs, such as bridge replacements, overlays, road rehabilitation and pavement replacement. They are part of the T-WORKS transportation plan approved by the 2010 Legislature.

“These aren’t the rock star projects,” she said. “This is the type of work that keeps the Kansas roadway system in great condition.”

One website breaks down the projects by county and another website will show how the projects are progressing.

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