Kansas Senate Could Boost New President's Power

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Top Republicans in the Kansas Senate are considering a proposal to concentrate the power over committee assignments in the chamber's president.

And the idea has bipartisan support.

Incoming Majority Leader Terry Bruce of Hutchinson said Thursday that some fellow Republicans view the Senate's current method of handling committee assignments as cumbersome. A nine-member, all-GOP panel makes the assignments.

The practice is a legacy of Republican infighting decades ago and voters electing Democratic lieutenant governors in the past to preside over a Republican-controlled Senate.

Meanwhile, the House gives its speaker control over committee assignments.

Bruce and Senate President Susan Wagle of Wichita take over when lawmakers convene their 2013 session Jan. 14.

Abolishing the all-GOP appointments group has the support of Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka.

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