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Monday, October 25, 2021

Colyer To Be Sworn In As Kansas Governor Today

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer faces a skeptical GOP-controlled Legislature deeply divided over a court mandate to increase state spending on public schools as he prepares to take over as Kansas’ next governor later tody.

Colyer, age 57, the state’s longest-serving lieutenant governor, iss scheduled to be sworn in as governor this afternoon. He is replacing GOP Gov. Sam Brownback, who is stepping down to become U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.

Colyer said before the event that his inaugural speech will focus on broad themes about “what is special about Kansas,” rather than policy.

The biggest task facing Colyer and legislators is responding to a Kansas Supreme Court ruling in October that funding for public schools remains constitutionally inadequate, even with an increase approved last year.

Brownback proposed phasing in an additional $513 million increase over five years, relying only on the annual growth in state revenues to pay for it. The plan angered many Republicans, who viewed it as fiscally reckless.

Colyer promised a more open and approachable administration after Brownback was nominated by President Donald Trump last summer for the ambassador post. But lawmakers are waiting to see whether he breaks with Brownback’s policies or modifies the school funding plan.

He remained a loyal No. 2 during seven years as Brownback’s lieutenant governor, even as Kansas voters turned on Brownback because of the persistent budget problems that followed aggressive income tax cuts the governor championed in 2012 and 2013. Lawmakers last year rolled back most of the cuts.

Colyer is a Kansas City-area plastic surgeon who does both cosmetic and reconstructive procedures. He’s been associated with the International Medical Corps for three decades and has continued during regular medical relief missions as lieutenant governor.

He served two years in the Kansas House and another two years in the state Senate before being elected on Brownback’s ticket in 2010. They were re-elected in 2014.

 

Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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