Kansas chamber to stay out of judicial selection

The Kansas Chamber of Commerce, newly led by former House Speaker Mike O’Neal, has an aggressive legislative agenda aimed at phasing out all individual and corporate income taxes and pushing for changes related to state employees’ pensions and unions’ political influence. But both Kent Eckles, the chamber’s vice president for governmental affairs, and Eric Stafford, the chamber’s senior legislative affairs director, told Associated Press that the chamber will stay out of the debate about changing how appellate judges are chosen. O’Neal has said the Kansas Supreme Court stepped over the line in requiring the Legislature to increase school funding. But he once responded to a proposed constitutional amendment to change how Supreme Court justices were chosen by asking: “What’s wrong with what we’ve got now?”