Kansas Senate committees get new leaders; GOP moderates gain

Kansas senators at work (Photo courtesy KSNT)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Most Kansas Senate committees will have new leaders when legislators reconvene next month, and moderate Republicans will have more chairmanships.

Senate President Susan Wagle announced the appointments of 12 committee chairmen and chairwomen Wednesday. Only four are keeping the posts they had previously.

The Wichita Republican said turnover in this year’s elections required most of the changes. Fourteen of the Senate’s 40 members will be new.

Moderate Republican Sen. Carolyn McGinn of Sedgwick will lead the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee, replacing conservative Sen. Ty Masterson of Andover.

Moderate GOP Sen. Vicki Schmidt of Topeka will lead the Public Health and Welfare Committee. Wagle in February removed conservative Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook of Shawnee from the post in favor of conservative Sen. Michael O’Donnell of Wichita, but he didn’t seek re-election.