Sebelius Sidesteps Speculation about Future in D.C.

By: Rae Chelle Davis Email
By: Rae Chelle Davis Email

Topeka - Speculation surrounds Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, now that Sen. Barack Obama is on his way to the White House.

Sebelius was a frequent figure on the campaign trail, stumping for Obama. Now, rumors are circling about a spot for her on the President-elect's cabinet.

At a Statehouse news conference Wednesday afternoon, Sebelius said she is always interested in listening to new ways in which she might serve, but, as yet, has had no conversations with Obama or his staff. In the WIBW-TV studio Tuesday night, Sebelius said she is not looking for a new job.

Still, she remained vague when asked if she would accept a position on Obama's cabinet if asked, avoiding the word, "no." Sebelius says she believes states will have an ally in the White House in Obama. She says she feels he has a view of the world many governors, Republican and Democrat, share, and she wants to help in any way that she can.

Also Wednesday, the Governor discussed efforts to trim the budget in response to a new financial forecast that projects the state will have a budget deficit of $137 million in June 2009. She says she has increased the amount she wants state agencies to trim from their current budgets, to three percent, up from two percent. She did exempt aid to public schools and some social services. She also said fixing the budget at this time doesn't mean raising taxes.

Some questioned whether the Governor's move would be enough. Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt, R-Independence, said Sebelius was "creeping in the right direction," and said it would be less painful to make the cuts now.


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