Archive for Wednesday, January 3, 2001

Leadership paves the way

January 3, 2001

Last month, members of the Kansas Legislature made the trek to Topeka to elect leaders to various posts in the House and Senate. This process is fairly routine in government circles, but its importance should not be overlooked. In the Legislature, just as anywhere else, there are leaders and there are followers. I am looking forward to a productive 2001 session working with the leadership teams recently elected.

Sen. Dave Kerr from Hutchinson will take the reins as Senate president. He is a well-respected legislator with a track record of strong fiscal management. As the chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, he kept a close eye and a tight fist on every dollar of Kansas taxpayers' money. I know he will bring the same fiscal management style and prudent policy decisions to his new leadership post in tile Senate.

Rep. Kent Glasscock of Manhattan is the new speaker of the House of Representatives. He has always been willing to accept challenges during his legislative tenure. This will be his biggest challenge yet. Taking the helm of the 125-member Kansas House of Representatives is a daunting task, but he is the type of leader who will thrive in the role. I have known him for many years and he always finds a way to get the job done.

These two men are on the top rungs of the leadership ladders in the Senate and House. Both political parties have elected a full slate of legislative leaders for the upcoming legislative session. I applaud these lawmakers for their initiative in seeking these leadership duties. The legislative process can range from tedious to grueling. It takes the coordinated efforts of these leadership teams to keep that process moving in a positive direction.

I anticipate a positive and productive legislative session in 2001. I will bring several important initiatives to the attention of lawmakers, and I know many legislators have good ideas of their own. We will not be able to agree on every issue. But with strong leadership in place, I believe we have the stage for meaningful debate.

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