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Kansas Legislators Denounce Municipal 'Seat Shopping'

Stephen Koranda
KPR/File Photo

Kansas lawmakers are condemning the practice of municipal government and school board members resigning from office aware that peers would quickly reappoint them to a different vacancy to artificially extend their terms.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that members of the 2018 Legislature have expressed bipartisan disapproval for the insider deals, but haven't mentioned a bill to forbid or limit the practice.

Two "seat shopping" occurrences in southeast Kansas prompted interest in how elective boards, commissions and councils use authority to help incumbents who lost re-election or someone near the end of a term who didn't file for re-election. The arrangements allow those people to secure longer terms in office without being voted in.

House Majority Leader Don Hineman says such arrangements are "not right." But he says lawmakers are reluctant to interfere in local government.