Rep. Ron Ryckman Jr, R-Olathe, has been appointed to succeed Rep Brian Weber, R- Dodge City, as the chair of the House Social Services Budget Committee according to the Kansas Health Institute.
Ryckman grew up in Meade, and is the son of Rep. Ron Ryckman Sr., R-Meade who taught government at Meade High School for 29 years.
“As far was we’ve been able to find out, we’re the first father and son to be in the Legislature at the same time,” Ryckman said.
Ryckman owns a residential and commercial roofing company in Olathe. He’s also a business consultant. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe.
Ryckman, 41, and his wife, Kim, have three children.
The House Social Services Budget Committee has nine members—seven Republicans and two Democrats. The group is responsible to creating budgets for the Department for Children and Families, Department for Aging and Disability Services, and the Division of Health within the Department of Health and Environment. It also has oversight of KanCare, the state’s Medicaid managed care program.
Ryckman said he’ll be looking for ways to “make KanCare work,” noting that he was aware of ongoing provider complaints about the complexity of the new system and the difficulties they’ve had obtaining treatment authorizations and timely payments from the managed care companies.
He said his goal as chair was “…not to come in and find ways to slice and cut” spending. Instead, he said he hopes to find ways to “increase efficiency” and make sure the departments’ budgets are generating the “best services for the people of Kansas.”
In addition to his legislative duties, Ryckman serves on the Olathe City Council, a position he’s held for the past five years.