Governor Sam Brownback revealed Tuesday that he’s leaving the major preparations for the upcoming legislative session to Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer. President Trump has nominated Brownback to be ambassador for international religious freedom. Brownback is planning to step down as governor once he's confirmed.
Brownback is still the state's chief executive, and he's handling the public duties that go along with that job. Tuesday he welcomed the Christmas tree to the governor's mansion and dedicated a nature trail in the park surrounding the property.
After those events, he said Colyer is taking the reins on other issues, such as developing the state budget proposals that will be released early next year.
“He’s doing those and getting ready for the legislative session,” Brownback said.
A U.S. Senate committee has approved the nomination, but Brownback is still waiting for a vote in the full Senate.
Brownback wouldn’t say whether he would step down if he wasn't confirmed when the session starts in January.
“We’re looking at what we need to do to get cleared through for the vote,” Brownback said.
He said he’d spoken with Vice President Mike Pence recently about the nomination and had talked with senators, as well.
“I think we’ve got a good prospect of getting up for a vote, and if I can get up for a vote, a good prospect of passing,” Brownback said.
Brownback said he had wanted a confirmation vote earlier than this, but he’s now hoping for a vote before the Senate’s Christmas break.