Gov. Brownback welcomes holiday season with Christmas tree lighting

TOPEKA (CAPITOL BUREAU) - With Christmas carols echoing through the rotunda , Governor Sam Brownback welcomed in the holiday season at the Capitol by lighting the Christmas tree.

Lighting the tree is one of the few events Brownback has taken part in over the past months.
Brownback handed over some of the more important Governor duties to Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer this fall. Those duties include putting together the state budget, and appointing department heads.
Brownback has been waiting for months on Senate approval to join Trump's cabinet as ambassador at-large for religious freedom.
"Last week was the big tax vote in the Senate so that was really occupying everybody's time," Brownback told reporters Wednesday. "Hopefully it's going to be moving forward here soon."
In the past the Governor had said he was hoping for Senate approval before Thanksgiving.
"It's been a difficult season for cooperation in Washington to say the least," Brownback said.  "My hope is that they'll get a vote sometime yet this year, we'll see what they're able to do."
Brownback stressed he would not resign from his role as Governor until he his appointment is approved, adding he would give the State of the State if he is still Governor in January.
With Coyler taking on more of a leadership role, Brownback said it is not a co-governorship.
"What we're trying to do is like a relay race, so it's not just one where it's a stop and then the next starts particularly when you're in this proximity to another legislative session," said Brownback.
At a jobs announcement in Wichita, Colyer told reporters Brownback is still running the show.
"The Governor is exercising his duties as Governor and is involved in day-to-day decisions and there is one Governor at a time. He and I work together, we talk and I've been involved  in the budgets before and he has asked me to take a lead on this, this time," said Colyer.

Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer is also one of 20 candidates running for Governor in 2018.

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