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Lt. Gov. Colyer Tackling Major Kansas Policy Issues Before Brownback Departure

Stephen Koranda
Kansas Public Radio/File photo
Gov. Brownback speaking outside the governor's mansion Tuesday.

Gov. Sam Brownback revealed Tuesday that he’s leaving the major preparations for the upcoming legislative session to Lt Gov. Jeff Colyer. President Trump has nominated Brownback to be ambassador for international religious freedom. Brownback is planning to step down as governor once he's confirmed.

Brownback is still making appearances as the leader of Kansas government. On Tuesday, he welcomed the Christmas tree to the governor's mansion and dedicated a nature trail on the park surrounding the property.

After those events, he said Colyer is taking the reins on other issues, such as developing the state budget proposals that will be released early next year.

“He’s doing those and getting ready for the legislative session,” Brownback said.

A U.S. Senate committee has approved the nomination, but Brownback is still waiting for a vote in the full Senate.

When asked if he’d step down if not confirmed by the time the session starts in January, Brownback wouldn’t say.

“We’re looking at what we need to do to get cleared through for the vote,” Brownback said.

He said he’d spoken with Vice President Mike Pence recently about the nomination and had talked with senators, as well.

“I think we’ve got a good prospect of getting up for a vote, and if I can get up for a vote, a good prospect of passing,” Brownback said.

Brownback said he had wanted a confirmation vote earlier than this, but he’s now hoping for a vote before the Senate’s Christmas break.


Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio, a partner in the Kansas News Service. Follow him on Twitter @KPRKoranda.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.


Stephen Koranda is the managing editor of the Kansas News Service, based at KCUR. He has nearly 20 years of experience in public media as a reporter and editor.