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New Kansas governor prepares to give first big policy speech

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer is anticipated to define proposals for making state authorities extra clear right through an deal with to the Legislature, and lawmakers are hoping he additionally spells out the place he stands on public faculty investment.

The new Republican governor was once scheduled to discuss Wednesday afternoon to a joint consultation of the House and Senate. His first primary policy speech is extensively seen as his follow-up to the State of the State deal with from former GOP Gov. Sam Brownback ultimate month.

Colyer, previously lieutenant governor, changed Brownback ultimate week when Brownback resigned to develop into U.S. ambassador-at-large for world spiritual freedom. Lawmakers are hoping for “more than just simple platitudes,” stated state Rep. Melissa Rooker, a reasonable Fairway Republican.

Senate President Susan Wagle, a conservative Wichita Republican, added: “Everyone is going to want to know exactly where he stands on school finance.”

Colyer advised newshounds ultimate week that he would roll out proposals designed to make state authorities extra open, with out offering specifics. Lawmakers already are operating on a raft of proposals to make stronger lobbying, ethics and open-government regulations.

But Colyer and lawmakers additionally should reply to a Kansas Supreme Court mandate to build up spending on public colleges. The courtroom dominated in October that the greater than $four billion a yr the state supplies in assist to its 286 faculty districts is inadequate beneath the state charter, even with an build up authorized ultimate yr.

Brownback proposed phasing in an extra $513 million build up in assist over 5 years, depending simplest on expansion in state revenues to duvet the fee. Many Republican legislators thought to be the plan financially reckless, arguing that the state received’t be in a position to maintain the additional spending with no tax build up or deep cuts in different places within the price range.

“We have been delivered a budget that’s underwater in two years, and, so if he’d like to make corrections to that, we’d be very appreciative,” Wagle stated.

Democratic state Rep. John Alcala, of Topeka, stated he’s in search of indicators that Colyer is keen to paintings with Democrats on problems akin to faculty investment and increasing the state’s Medicaid program to supply well being protection to up to 180,000 extra deficient adults. Colyer has adverse Medicaid growth.

“I've my doubts as a result of he’s been a bystander, locked in keeping with Brownback for a protracted time period,” Alcala stated.


Follow John Hanna on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apjdhanna.


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