Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick has replaced the leaders of two key committees and filled vacancies in two other chairmanships.
Merrick spokeswoman Rachel Whitten confirmed Thursday that Representative Ron Ryckman Junior of Olathe will be chairman of the budget-writing Appropriations Committee.
Ryckman replaces Representative Gene Suellentrop of Wichita.
Merrick appointed Representative Ron Highland of Wamego as Education Committee chairman. He replaces Representative Kasha Kelley of Arkansas City.
Whitten declined to discuss the reasons behind the changes.
Merrick appointed Representative Marvin Kleeb of Overland Park as Taxation Committee chairman and John Barker of Abilene as Judiciary Committee chairman. The previous chairmen did not seek re-election this year.
Merrick is a Stilwell Republican. All of the new chairmen are Republicans, in keeping the GOP’s 97-to-28 majority in the House.