HUTCHINSON, Kan. — At least 16 Kansas lawmakers have recently held or currently hold a second elective office.
The Kansas Constitution bars a member of Congress or U.S. government employee from serving in the Statehouse. A statute on county commissioners says “no person holding any state, county, township or city office shall be eligible to the office of the county commission.” There’s no identical language for city commissioners and school board members, the Hutchinson News reported .
The group of dual office-holding lawmakers includes Speaker of the House Republican Ron Ryckman Jr., whose term on the Olathe City Council ended this month. Republicans Rep. Larry Campbell and Kansas Education Board member John Bacon continue on the council.
Democratic Rep. Steve Crum also serves on the Haysville City Council. He said he missed only two city meetings last year because of the Legislature.
Some lawmakers in dual offices said they were more effective in both jobs because of what they learned from each role.
“The insight from holding these two particular elected offices is mutually valuable,” said Republican Rep. Kevin Jones of serving on a school board and in the Legislature.
Some lawmakers resigned from local office before entering the Legislature. Republican Sen. Randall Hardy resigned from the Salina City Commission just before entering the Legislature in January 2017 even though it wasn’t required.
“Being a legislator is both time-consuming and demanding,” he said. “I am surprised that we do not have a rule that restricts serving in two roles while in the Legislature.”
Information from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, http://www.hutchnews.com