When Gov. Sam Brownback pushed lawmakers last year to merge the Kansas Turnpike Authority and the Kansas Department of Transportation, he said the merger would save the state $30 million over two years, though he and KDOT officials provided no specifics on those savings. Last week, KDOT Secretary Mike King outlined $17.2 million in savings that he said would occur over the lifetime of the changes, the Lawrence Journal-World reported. The bulk of those savings, $11 million, came from refinancing a KTA bond, which presumably could have been done without a merger. Sen. Les Donovan, R-Wichita, who fiercely opposed the merger, said that he is "keeping his powder dry" about how well it is working. "I told them (KDOT) I will give them three years before I either apologize or take credit for being right," he said.
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