TOPEKA — A Democrat has control of a committee in the Republican-dominated Kansas Legislature — a sign the representative from Frontenac said shows lawmakers are ready to do what is right and stop playing politics.

Rep. Adam Lusker (D-Frontenac) was elected chairman of the Joint Committee on State Building Construction last month in a 6-4 bipartisan vote.

“I’m pretty excited,” Lusker said, adding he has been on the committee a couple years. Lusker has a background in construction and owns a masonry company.

Additionally, Lusker sits on the house committees for transportation, energy and environment and agriculture.

Legislation comes out of committee before being voted on in the house and senate floor.

Lusker said this week house committees are tackling big state topics — KanCare expansion, legislation that could potentially revive the Camptown Greyhound Park in Frontenac and tax bills amid the state facing a roughly $1 billion budget deficit the next two years.

“We have got to have some sustainable revenue sources,” Lusker said.

Tax collections have fallen short most months since an income tax reduction, championed by Gov. Sam Brownback, took effect in January 2013.

Lusker does not believe any of those committee issues will reach the house floor for vote this week. As chairman of the committee which reviews capital improvement budgets and plans for state agencies, Lusker has discretion on what issues the committee will take up.

— Michael Stavola is a staff writer at The Morning Sun. He can be emailed at or follow him on Twitter @MichaelStavola1.