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Phillips relishes ‘special moment’

By Bill Felber

Newly installed State Rep. Tom Phillips described as “a special moment” his swearing in to the 67th District seat Thursday. Phillips was administered the oath by Secretary of State Kris Kobach, replacing fellow Republican Susan Mosier, whose resignation was effective Wednesday.

“Our oldest son was able to come over and he held the family Bible,” Phillips remarked of the ceremony, which took place during the House session.

Phillips spent the bulk of his first two days simply putting together the mechanical essentials, including getting his office computer operational and receiving the necessary security passes. Those kinds of things forced him to miss his initial committee meetings Thursday afternoon.

The new state representative will sit on three committees, including one on which he will take Mosier’s seat. That is the committee on Health and Human Services, chaired by Brenda Landwehr. He was also assigned to the Committee on Aging and Long-term Care, chaired by Bob Bethell, and to the Committee on Government Efficiency, chaired by Mike Burgess.

He was not assigned to three other committees on which Mosier had sat, those being Financial Institutions, Insurance, and a Joint Committee on Health Policy Oversight.

Phillips got his full legislative baptism Friday morning with a half hour session that included action on three bills.

The House is expected to take final action next week on a new legislative map that removes about 1,000 constituents from Phillips’ district. Under the map, both Grant and Wildcat townships will be detached from the 67th district and assigned to the 106th district of Rep. Sharon Schwartz, a Washington Republican. Zeandale Township will also be removed from the 67th district and reassigned to Rep. Richard Carlson’s 61st District. As a partial counter-balance, the portion of Fort Riley closest to the Ogden gate is being moved into Phillips’ 67th district.

The boundaries of the 66th legislative district of Democrat Sydney Carlin will not be altered. Generally speaking, Carlin’s district encompasses the northern and eastern portions of the city, while Phillips represents the southern and western portions.

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