Archive for Monday, December 1, 2008

Lawrence legislator chosen House minority leader

December 1, 2008, 10:57 a.m. Updated December 1, 2008, 5:45 p.m.


— The Lawrence legislative delegation gained clout Monday, winning leadership positions in preparation for what promises to be a session dominated by budget cuts.

State Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, was elected House Minority Leader. State Rep. Barbara Ballard held off a tough challenge and was re-elected chairwoman of the House Democratic caucus. And state Sen.-elect Tom Holland was elected agenda/caucus chairman among Senate Democrats.

With state revenues nose-diving, Davis said, “We want to try to protect education and social services and things that we’ve fought for for many years from massive budget cuts.”

Davis will replace Dennis McKinney of Greensburg, who was recently chosen by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to become state treasurer.

In addition to a new Democratic leader in the House, the chamber will have a new speaker.

House Republicans ousted Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, and elected Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchinson.

Davis said he had a “lot of respect” for O’Neal. “I hope that I can have a good working relationship with him,” he said.

Davis defeated state Rep. Bill Feuerborn, D-Garnett, for the top minority position, 29-18.

Ballard, who has been caucus chairwoman for eight years, faced a rush from state Rep. Josh Svaty, D-Ellsworth. But the caucus went with Ballard, 25-22. Ballard’s election then was approved by acclamation.

On the Senate side, the recently elected Holland was selected, without opposition, as agenda/caucus chair for the Democrats. Senate Republicans hold a 31-9 advantage over Democrats.


WilburM 9 years, 3 months ago

Congratulations to Rep. Davis. Legislators get little respect, but the best ones (like the new majority leader) work hard for modest compensation. Good luck in a tough job.

ModerateOne 9 years, 3 months ago

The minority leader also works hard for modest compensation. Congrats Paul.

situveux1 9 years, 3 months ago

What an awful pick. Yea, congratulations, but what were the Democrats thinking? The guy hasn't done ANYTHING!

WilburM 9 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, Minority Leader (see above). duh.

billbodiggens 9 years, 3 months ago

He hasn't done anything? According to some, just being from Lawrence is everything that needs to be done. And if they have gotten little respect, they certainly have worked hard to earn it.

KS 9 years, 3 months ago

Does Ballard double dip from the State of Kansas? I think she works for KU? How does she get all that time off from her KU job to serve in the legislature?

Frank Smith 9 years, 3 months ago

What's unsaid in this story is that getting a dirty coal power plant past the governor will be a lot more difficult than it was this year. McKinney not only voted for it, but he brought along other rural Democrats as well. The "D"s have picked up one more seat in the House than they have had this year. It would have been two, but an incumbent suffered major illness a month before the election and wasn't able to campaign.Neufeld, who was the chief Senate proponent of the plant is an idiot. His replacement, O'Neal, is smarter so perhaps more dangerous.

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