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Governor Colyer To Address Joint Session Of Legislature Wednesday

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Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer is expected to outline proposals for making state government more transparent during an address to the Legislature, and lawmakers are hoping he also spells out where he stands on public school funding.

The new governor is scheduled to speak Wednesday afternoon to a joint session of the House and Senate. His first major policy speech is widely viewed as his follow-up to the State of the State address from former GOP Gov. Sam Brownback last month.

Colyer, formerly lieutenant governor, replaced Brownback last week when Brownback resigned to become U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. Lawmakers are hoping for “more than just simple platitudes,” said state Rep. Melissa Rooker, a moderate Fairway Republican.

Colyer told reporters last week that he would roll out proposals designed to make state government more open, without providing specifics. Lawmakers already are working on a raft of proposals to strengthen lobbying, ethics and open-government laws.

But Colyer and lawmakers also must respond to a Kansas Supreme Court mandate to increase spending on public schools. The court ruled in October that the more than $4 billion a year the state provides in aid to its 286 school districts is insufficient under the state constitution, even with an increase approved last year.

Brownback proposed phasing in an additional $513 million increase in aid over five years, relying only on growth in state revenues to cover the cost. Many Republican legislators considered the plan financially reckless, arguing that the state won’t be able to sustain the extra spending without a tax increase or deep cuts elsewhere in the budget.

 

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Derek Nester
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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