Speaker hopes to make Kan. House assignments soon

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) Incoming Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick says he’s hoping to finish committee assignments early next week.

Merrick told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he’s still working to fill some committee chairmanships in the 125-member chamber.

The Stilwell Republican was named as the next speaker earlier this week by fellow Republican legislators and legislators-elect. His selection must be formally ratified by the entire House when the Legislature convenes its next annual session in January, but that’s considered a formality.

It’s typical for some key committee chairmanships to change hands with a new speaker.

Merrick is following Speaker Mike O’Neal, a Hutchinson Republican. O’Neal didn’t see re-election to the House and is now the chief executive officer of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce.