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Kansas Senate President Concerned Governor Brownback Is 'Looking For A Ticket To D.C.'

Stephen Koranda
KPR/File photo
Senate President Susan Wagle speaks at an event in October.

Gov. Sam Brownback has given few details about what he'll propose to balance the Kansas budget. The leader of the state Senate is raising concerns that Brownback's future political plans could be influencing his decisions.

Republican Senate President Susan Wagle says she doesn’t want a one-time fix for the budget, and she’s concerned the governor may propose just that. Speaking to reporters Monday, she referenced Brownback possibly taking a role in the administration of President-elect Donald Trump.

“I can assure you a number of legislators are very concerned that the governor is looking for a ticket to D.C., and we’re concerned that we may not get a budget that has a long-term structural fix in it,” Wagle said.

Wagle and some other lawmakers have criticized the governor for not taking immediate actions to balance the budget. Kansas is facing a budget deficit nearing $350 million in the current fiscal year.

“I can assure you the legislators I talk to are opposed to a one-time, borrow-money-to-plug-a-hole solution,” Wagle said.

Brownback's office says a balanced budget plan will be coming, but they didn't weigh in on Wagle's claim that Brownback may be angling for a job in the Trump administration.

Credit Melika Willoughby Twitter

“Governor Brownback is focused on building a balanced budget and—as he has long promised—will present it to the legislature in January," Brownback's spokeswoman, Melika Willoughy, responded in a statement. "If President Wagle or others have specific long-term structural fixes they would like to propose to Kansans before the legislative session begins, the Governor would be happy to take them under consideration."

Brownback has in the past declined to answer questions about whether he’s considering a job in the Trump administration.