(CN) – Weeks after the Kansas Legislature rejected his long-term tax plan, Gov. Sam Brownback will step down after the White House said Wednesday that President Donald Trump intends to make Brownback “Ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom” under the State Department.
Brownback, in the middle of his second term as governor after being reelected in 2014, promoted a conservative tax policy that some economists say led to Kansas’ declining revenue. Both S&P and Moody’s downgraded the state’s credit rating due to its ongoing budget problems.
Calling it a tax “experiment,” Brownback championed tax cuts for the top earners in the state, as well as abolished state taxes altogether for farms, lawyers, S-corporations and LLCs.
At times considered one of the most unpopular governors in the nation, Brownback ran Kansas as it became one of only four states that lost private-sector jobs between April 2016 and April 2017.
“Religious freedom is the first freedom,” Brownback tweeted Wednesday evening. “The choice of what you do with your own soul. I am honored to serve such an important cause.”
Brownback previously represented Kansas in both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. He must first be confirmed by the Senate in order to take the new position.
If Brownback is confirmed, Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer will sit in for the remainder of the term.