TOPEKA, Kan. (CAPITOL BEREAU) – The State of Kansas is moving forward with new leadership after Governor Brownback announced his official resignation date and the swearing in of Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer.
Governor Brownback’s resignation takes effect January 31st at 3:00 p.m. paving the way for Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer to step into the leadership role.
“Kansas is a great state and we have a lot things to do,” said Colyer.
After months of waiting, Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer will become the 47th Governor of the Sunflower State.
“We’re going to be laying out a lot new issues over the next few months. Things like how to improve transparency, how to grow our economy, and how to make sure our kids have great schools,” Colyer explained.
Colyer inherits the State House as lawmakers are looking to address the Supreme Court’s ruling on adequately paying for schools.
“There’s going to be some really hard decision to be made over the next few months. We’re not going to play political games, we’re going to work on results,” said Colyer.
He also steps in after lawmakers expressed frustration with Governor Brownback over his proposed budget, a budget Colyer had a hand in drafting.
“We’ve been listening to a lot of lawmakers. We’re going to be making some of our own proposals and we’ll be working with the legislators on some of theirs,” Colyer explained. “There are some budget items that are on the table now and we’ll be addressing those issues over the next few weeks.”
Colyer owns a plastic surgery practice in the Kansas City area. He also served as a State Senator before Brownback chose him as his running mate in 2010.
Some Republican Lawmakers said they look forward to a smooth transition.
“I think we don’t know exactly how Governor Colyer is going to react to everything we’re doing here, but we’ll find out,” said State Rep. Susan Humphries, R-Wichita.
Other lawmakers said they don’t think much will change under new leadership.
“Governor Brownback and Lt. Governor Colyer have been in lockstep for the past seven years and no one should presume there is going to be any substantial change,” explained State Rep. John Carmichael, D-Wichita.
Colyer is also running for a full four-year term this year. He has not announced who will serve as his Lt. Governor.