Voting for change in the Kansas Senate
It’s often said that a legislator’s most important vote is the first one – the vote cast for leadership in the chamber in which the legislator was elected.
It’s so important because leadership sets and controls the agenda, picks committee chairs and committee assignments. Leadership has the bully pulpit when it comes to the press and opinion leaders across that state.
Because leadership is so important, that’s why it was disappointing the Senate decided to maintain the status quo by reelecting Steve Morris as Senate President, and John Vratil as Vice President when there were much better alternatives.
It should be noted that Majority Leader Derrick Schmidt was not challenged and was elected by acclamation, receiving support from the entire caucus.
A vote for the current team is essentially saying that everything is A-OK in Kansas. That the past four years, when a billion-dollar budget deficit was created, were just hunky-dory.
Yes, part of the vote was a simple reflection on the conservative-moderate split in the Kansas Republican Party. But does this split excuse a vote for a billion-dollar deficit?
Does being a moderate Republican mean that you condone such large budget deficits?
Though the vote is secret, it is fairly clear who voted for them. If anyone has contradictory information, please let us know.
Votes for the current team and for a billion dollar deficit:
Pat Apple, Jim Barnett, Pete Brungardt, Jay Emler, Julia Lynn, Carolyn McGinn, Bob Marshall, Steve Morris, Tim Owens, Roger Reitz, Derek Schmidt, Vicki Schmidt, Jean Schodorf, Mark Taddiken, Ruth Teichman, Dwayne Umbarger, John Vratil, David Wysong
Votes for change:
Steve Abrams, Karin Brownlee, Terry Bruce, Jeff Colyer, Mary Pilcher-Cook, Les Donovan, Tim Huelskamp, Dick Kelsey, Ty Masterson, Ralph Ostmeyer, Mike Petersen, Dennis Pyle, Susan Wagle