Sam Brownback

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

Jeff Colyer rose to the top of the Kansas executive branch Wednesday with events staged not just around his swearing in as governor, but in concert with his dash to get elected to the office later this year.

Shortly after 3 p.m. in the Topeka Statehouse, he took the oath of office to become the 47th governor of Kansas and became the one person in the race for chief executive who could begin logging time in the role.

“I challenge all of us to come together,” he said after being sworn in as governor, “to work together to show that Kansas is the true heart of America.”

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service/File photo

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer steps in as governor of Kansas Wednesday afternoon. His predecessor, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, has been packing up his office in recent days, and is leaving behind a wish list for state lawmakers.

Brian Grimmett / KMUW

Next Wednesday, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer goes from one of the most anonymous jobs in state politics to its most prominent.

Heartland Health Monitor/File Photo

Income that doesn’t come close to the poverty line. Persistent job insecurity. Shifting schedules and irregular hours. Cumbersome barriers to state assistance meant for the neediest Kansans.

A new report from the left-leaning Center for Budget and Policy Priorities paints a stark picture of the Kansas welfare system.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

With help from Vice President Mike Pence, short-handed U.S. Senate Republicans on Wednesday made Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback President Donald Trump’s ambassador for religious freedom.

Pence twice broke ties on nail-biter, party-line, votes to ultimately confirm Brownback after months of delay. With the governor stepping down from his Statehouse job, soon enough, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer will be ushered into an interim stint as governor.

Susie Fagan / Kansas News Service/File photo

The U.S. Senate is moving toward a vote on Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback's nomination for an ambassador's post.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed a motion Monday to cut off debate on President Donald Trump's nomination of the conservative Republican governor to serve as U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.

Kansas News Service/File

Gov. Sam Brownback has moved one step closer to leaving Kansas and taking a job in the Trump administration.

For a second time, a committee in the U.S. Senate has approved his nomination to become ambassador for international religious freedom.

This vote puts Brownback's nomination right back where it had been for several months: awaiting final approval from the full U.S. Senate.

Given the delays, Brownback said this week that he isn’t packing his bags just yet.

Kansas Department of Corrections

As the push to hire a private contractor to build a new Lansing prison and then lease it to the state increases, some legislative leaders look warily at the idea.

This week, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback stopped at the Lansing Correctional Facility to make yet another push for his administration’s plan to overhaul it. The visit came just days before a panel of lawmakers could decide the fate of his plan for replacing the deteriorating prison.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File Photo

Gov. Sam Brownback wants to add hundreds of new counselors to public schools in Kansas over the next five years, if those counselors can be found.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

When 18-year-old Columba Herrera walks across the graduation stage this May, she’ll leave Topeka Public Schools with two things — a high school diploma and the beginnings of her college transcript.

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