Prairie Politics

Appropriations chair Ryckman steps down as Kansas House majority whip

Rep. Ron Ryckman Jr. has stepped down as majority whip in the Kansas House, citing his recent appointment as appropriations chair.

“It has been an honor to serve as House Majority Whip for over a year,” Ryckman, R-Olathe, wrote in a short letter to his Republican colleagues. “Because of my new commitment as chairman of the Appropriations Committee, the caucus will be best served if I step back from my role as Whip and focus solely on the budget.”

The job of the whip is to build consensus among the party on key votes. Republican House members will have to select a new whip to replace Ryckman.

Ryckman, in his third year at the Legislature, was made chair of the House Appropriations committee, which oversees the budget, last month. He faces the difficult task of pushing through a fix to the current year’s budget by mid-February so the state can keep paying its bills on time and then filling a projected $648 million hole in next year’s budget.