TOPEKA — Dennis Taylor is Gov.-elect Sam Brownback's pick to lead a new office charged with eliminating regulations deemed unnecessary.
Taylor, 61, was selected by Brownback on Thursday as secretary of administration, who will oversee the newly created office of the repealer. Taylor currently is the performance management coordinator for Topeka, focusing on making that city operate more efficiently.
He served as Republican Gov. Mike Hayden's chief of staff and as Hayden's secretaries of the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services and the Department of Human Resources.
Taylor is a personal friend of Brownback, who called him "a proven problem-solver" who would help pare back government and get the almost 100,000 unemployed Kansans back to work.
During the campaign, Brownback, a Republican, promised to create the office of the repealer to comb through state statutes and regulations looking for those deemed outdated or harmful to the state's economy. The idea is that repealing unnecessary regulations would make it easier to attract more businesses to Kansas.
"He knows these are tough decisions,'' Brownback said. "We have got to deliver the service, and we have got to do so in as compassionate a fashion as we can."
Taylor, who still needs to be confirmed by the Kansas Senate, said he did not have any regulations he thought should be eliminated immediately.
"It is a process, not a weekly report, and not something that happens immediately or overnight," he said.
Brownback said he would like to see some regulations eliminated, pointing to "the CO2 regulation that was put on, I believe, unconstitutionally and without statute.
"This is not in the law, it is not in the statutes and that is a big one that has had a huge impact on the state of Kansas."
He was referring to the regulatory power used by a state official to block expansion of a coal plant in southwestern Kansas.
His comments came the same day that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced that it was issuing an air quality permit for the new coal plant.
Sunflower Electric Power Corp. plans to build an 895-megawatt generator in Holcomb. The company had originally wanted to build two 700-megawatt plants but those plans were thwarted in 2007 when then-KDHE Secretary Rod Bremby blocked the permits, citing concerns over the carbon dioxide the plants would emit.
The smaller plant was part of a negotiated compromise engineered by current Gov. Mark Parkinson, a Democrat.