Kansas Center for Economic Growth
Not many Kansans wake up in the morning worrying about the financial health of the state highway fund. Understandably so. But hit a big pothole on the way to work or drive a narrow, roughed up, congested roadway, and highway conditions immediately become a concern.
Trouble is, by then its too late. Crummy roads mean the states highway fund failed much earlier.
Noticeable problems can take some years to appear after road maintenance levels are lowered, bridge repairs delayed, and upgrade projects canceled. Thats why swiping money out of the highway fund can be so enticing for lawmakers. Theres instant gratification when the transferred dollars pay for some other high-profile need, and no immediate consequence for diverting the funds away from highways. The crisis comes later.