19 Apr KARA Applauds Governor Laura Kelly’s Signature on Short Line Rail Infrastructure Legislation
Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association’s (KARA) legislative efforts in 2023 have resulted in Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signing House Bill 2335, a bipartisan bill resulting in an annually dedicated $10 million from the state highway fund for maintenance and improvement of short line rail infrastructure.
“We are incredibly pleased Governor Kelly and the overwhelming majority of our state legislature supports our members and their need for reliable, safe and enhanced rail transportation,” KARA President and CEO Ron Seeber said. “As it already has in its previous iterations, this critical legislation will bring improved rail service throughout the state for crop inputs to be efficiently and safely transported. We thank Governor Kelly and members of the Kansas legislature for passing this critical infrastructure legislation.”
In 2020, KARA worked with the legislature to pass the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program which included a $15 million, three-year, cost-share grant program for qualified track maintenance and improvements to short line rail and rail siding.
Under the newly-restructured Rail Service Improvement Fund Program KARA led the charge on passing, the program now has increased from $5 million to $10 million per year with an expansion of program eligibility to include grain shippers and other owners of rail siding adjacent to short line rail.
“By rehabilitating more short-line railroads across the state, we are making it easier and more efficient for local businesses to move food and fuel to market,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “These investments build on one of Kansas’ greatest strengthens – being a central part of supply chains throughout the country.”