Kansas Rep. decries manner in which he was removed from committee

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TOPEKA, Kan. -- A shock for one Kansas State Representative left him contemplating resigning from his position in the Kansas State Legislature. That was the threat from Shawnee Republican John Rubin after he was stripped of a committee chairmanship by his own House Speaker on Tuesday.

In the end, Rubin decided that yes, the work is worth it, he will stay in the Kansas State Legislature. However, he is not seeking re-election, a decision he made months ago.

Rubin said he wanted to move a bill to debate on the house floor. It was a bill, however, that house Speaker Ray Merrick said was supposed to go to the House Appropriations Committee.

Due to this rules debate, Rubin was removed from the House Corrections and Juvenile Justice committee, where he served as chair since 2013.

Rubin says it's because Merrick was afraid of allowing a gaming bill to be up for debate or amendment.

He says the biggest blow was being removed from a committee he's passionate about, but also the way it was done, without warning, in public.

“Without even advising it at first and through a surrogate to the Speaker Pro Tem, rather than himself, and that is unprecedented, that really is unprecedented,” said Rep. Rubin.

“I think it was meant to be a public humiliation of me,” he added.

Speaker Merrick issued a statement today on the matter, saying in part:

“Today there was an attempt to manipulate the House Rules and pull a bill out of committee despite a hearing on the issue in House Appropriations scheduled for Wednesday. This is a complex issue..."

He goes on to say that it was with a heavy heart he was compelled to make the committee changes. Representative John Barker was also removed from his post today as the Chairman of the Rules Committee.