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January 13, 2010

Morris to Lead National Legislative Organization

Kansas Senate president becomes president-elect of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

DENVER- The president of the Kansas Senate, Stephen R. Morris, has been named president-elect of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a bipartisan organization that serves the nation’s 7,382 state lawmakers.

Morris will serve as president-elect for seven months before becoming president of NCSL at the 2011 Legislative Summit in San Antonio, Texas.  Morris, a Republican, has been actively involved in NCSL for more than a decade. Leadership of NCSL alternates between parties every year.

As the voice of state legislatures within our nation’s federal system of government, NCSL is poised to tackle many challenges in the next few years.

“Serving as president of NCSL will be a great challenge and even greater opportunity. I look forward to working with my colleagues from across the country. NCSL’s goal is to serve as an advocate for the states’ role in the national debate and to facilitate the open and civil exchange of ideas in areas of mutual and collective concern.”

Senator Morris is the president of the Kansas Senate and chair of the Organization, Calendar and Rules Committee. He is also chair of the Interstate Cooperation Committee, and a member of the Federal and State Affairs, Agriculture, and the Natural Resources Committees. Morris became overall chair of the NCSL Standing Committees during 2010. He’s a past chair of the NCSL Agriculture and Energy Committee. Morris currently serves on the NCSL Deficit Reduction Task Force and Executive Committee Task Force on Sustainable Energy.

Morris will play a key role in advocating for the states with Congress and the administration in the next 18 months. NCSL’s lobbying priorities are determined through the work of its 12 standing committees.

Morris’ selection fills a vacancy in NCSL’s office of president-elect created by the 2010 primary election defeat of Kansas State Representative Melvin Neufeld. Neufeld served as president-elect of NCSL from July 28, 2010 through Jan. 9, 2011, leaving the office when his term in the Kansas House expired. Senator Morris was chosen by the NCSL executive committee to fill out the remainder of Neufeld’s term and succeed to the office of president in August 2011.

Senator Morris and his wife, Barb, have three daughters and eight grandchildren. They have a farming operation – wheat and grain sorghum – at Hugoton.

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.