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Archive for Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gov.-elect Sam Brownback announces Dennis Taylor as head of new office of the repealer

December 16, 2010

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— Kansas Gov.-elect Sam Brownback announced Thursday that a personal friend who has held numerous state and local government jobs over the past three decades will lead his administration’s initiative to attack outdated or overly burdensome state laws and regulations.

Dennis Taylor will head a new office of the repealer, which Brownback says will identify laws and regulations that the new administration wants to eliminate in hopes of making Kansas government less expensive and more business-friendly. Creating the office will fulfill a campaign promise, and Brownback said he’ll use existing resources to pay for it.

Brownback also nominated Taylor to serve as secretary of administration, the official who oversees state purchasing, the upkeep of its office buildings and phone and computer services for its agencies. The 61-year-old has coordinated the city of Topeka’s efforts to make its municipal government more efficient since 2008.

But Taylor’s career in government spans 36 years. He served twice as a Cabinet secretary in Kansas and led a state social services agency in New Mexico. He’s held city and county jobs in Kansas and Missouri, and is a past adviser for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s operations for Eastern Europe.

The incoming governor said he and his wife have known Taylor and his wife for years. Taylor’s appointment as secretary of administration must be confirmed by the Kansas Senate.

Brownback, a Republican who takes office Jan. 10, described the office of the repealer as part of an attempt to make state government more efficient in the face of ongoing budget problems. Legislative researchers project a potential shortfall approaching $500 million for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

“We face some very difficult decisions, but it’s also an opportunity to make positive change to deliver high quality services at a lower cost,” Brownback said during a Statehouse news conference. “So, you’re going to see us — and particularly Dennis — leading the charge, looking for efficiencies.”

Taylor began his government career in 1974 as a research attorney for the Kansas Supreme Court. He served four years as an elected Shawnee County commissioner and as operations manager for Jackson County, Mo., before joining Republican Gov. Mike Hayden’s administration in 1987 as secretary of human resources. He later was Hayden’s chief of staff and his secretary of social and rehabilitation services.

Since then, he’s moved back and forth between government and private business. He led the Juvenile Justice Division in New Mexico’s Department of Children, Youth and Families in 1997-99.

Taylor said he expects to spend much of his time listening to Kansas residents about suggestions for laws and rules to repeal. He said his experience with the city of Topeka suggests that many recommendations will come from government employees themselves.

“We’re not in necessarily times the luxury of choice. It’s really a necessity,” he said of the effort.

Brownback outlined his proposal for an office of the repealer early in his successful campaign for governor. Some critics initially mocked the idea as creating a new bureaucracy, but others worried that his true goal was to let businesses escape environmental and other regulation.

But Brownback said he’s also heard complaints from local officials about state paperwork requirements, such as one that requires counties to file reports with the state on the value of business machinery that they’re no longer allowed to tax by law.

“These may seem like real kind of pipe works, nuts and bolts, this is about the furnace and how it operates, and truly it is,” he said. “We’re seeing the private sector do this across the board.”

Comments

Stuart Evans 3 years, 10 months ago

start by tossing out the absurd law against cannabis and hemp production, sale and distribution. You'll increase agriculture revenue, retail sales tax revenue, diminish the burden of law enforcement and the courts system; as well as, begin to build back a level of trust between citizens and government, while creating a brand new tourism industry. Kansas for Cannabis 2012!

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 10 months ago

"But Taylor’s career in government spans 36 years. He served twice as a Cabinet secretary in Kansas and led a state social services agency in New Mexico. He’s held city and county jobs in Kansas and Missouri, and is a past adviser for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s operations for Eastern Europe. "

Hmmm, seems like Taylor has had a long a distinguished career of suckling from the governmental teat.

And he is heading a new governmental bureaucracy that is charged with dismantling government bureaucracy.

Physician, heal hyself! Start by eliminating the Repealer's Office.

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staff04 3 years, 10 months ago

After all those years, he's probably near retirement...might as well loot the village on his way.

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gbulldog 3 years, 10 months ago

One request - upgrade the quality of State Employees by upgrading job requirements. The reputation of the quality of work performed by State Employees is lacking. That is because private industry is tougher. Most persons belive that State employees are "political hacks". When the State hires a professional level employee, on-the-job experience should not be a substitute for education.

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thatonedude 3 years, 10 months ago

Logically, there has to be a point when there is nothing left to repeal. What will come of this new position then?

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overthemoon 3 years, 10 months ago

Is this an official office? Shall we capitalize the title Office of the Repealer?

What a crock. Wanna bet its all policies and laws perceived to be 'liberal'??

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 10 months ago

This is pure showboating. This office will have no authority or power to repeal anything. If anything is going to be repealed, it'll be because the governor and legislators have passed the legislation that authorizes it, and this "Repealer-in-Chief" will have absolutely no say in it.

Get ready for four years of mostly pointless posturing designed to disguise Brownback's only agenda-- to please the Koch brothers so they'll back him in his next presidential bid.

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informed908 3 years, 10 months ago

The Governor is elected for six years, not four.

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informed908 3 years, 10 months ago

The Governor is elected for six years, not four.

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Jonathan Kealing 3 years, 10 months ago

No, the governor is elected for four years.

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KSManimal 3 years, 10 months ago

So....in an effort to reduce the size of KS government....Kochback has created a new government job for a "personal friend" who, like Kochback, has spent decades working government jobs.

And this new job is to "repeal" existing laws - even though this person has zero authority to do so, and is wasting tax dollars doing what our elected legislators are elected to do.

And, supposedly, this is to repeal laws that impede business? Is that ALL businesses, or just Koch Industries?

What other pesky little law might be targeted? Women's suffrage? Minority suffrage? Teacher bargaining rights, due process, and continuing contract laws? Reproductive freedoms?

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