Statehouse Live: Kansas state senator to lead NCSL

? Kansas Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, has become president of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

“NCSL has always been a bi-partisan organization, emphasizing civility and building relationships between Republicans and Democrats,” Morris said during the group’s annual legislative meeting in San Antonio. “I hope to keep this tradition and encourage chambers around the country to do the same,” he said.

He added that “NCSL has always been front and center on the issues, making sure states have the flexibility they need to handle both new issues, and ones that have been around for years. I hope to work with our federal partners to gain greater flexibility on state and federal programs, and minimize and eliminate mandates.”

Morris is serving his fifth four-year term in the Senate, and has been active in NCSL for more than a decade.

Morris has a family farming operation and was an active duty U.S. Air Force pilot during the Vietnam War, earning medals for combat missions flown in 1971 and 1973.