Turnpike savings a made-up number

It is becoming increasingly clear that the $30 million that supposedly will be saved the next two years by merging the Kansas Turnpike Authority with the Kansas Department of Transportation is a made-up number. KDOT Secretary Mike King admitted to lawmakers this week that there is no breakdown of the savings. “I can’t be specific on where those are at,” he said. As Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, observed: “It seems like a number just picked out of thin air because that made the books balance.” There were similar concerns last year about the Brownback administration’s claim that privatizing Medicaid would save the state $1 billion over five years without cutting provider rates, eligibility or services.