Kansas State Legislature

Kansas State Legislature

Located in Topeka, the Kansas legislature is a bicameral assembly comprised of two chambers: the lower House of Representatives, which has 125 members and the upper Senate with 40 members. Members work part-time and the legislature generally meets once a year for 90 days, beginning in January.When it is necessary, the governor has the authority to call special legislative sessions.

Bills

According to the Kansas constitution, either chamber may introduce a bill or statute for discussion. It then goes through a series of of steps before it can be signed into law.

After a bill is proposed, it is referred to a committee which conducts hearings and deliberations and can propose amendments. Following the initial committee consideration, the bill is then sent back to the house of origin for further deliberations and amendments. It is then voted on by the entire house and sent to the second house.

The second house repeats the steps of the first house before the bill can be recommended to the governor. The second house has the chance to accept the bill as is, amend it or even send it back to the house of origin for clarification for more deliberation.

Once approved by both houses, the governor may sign the bill into law. However, if the bill is vetoed, it is sent back to the assembly where each chamber must pass it again but this time with two thirds majority in order to override the veto.

Statutes

Statutes work in a similar fashion to bills, however, as in other states or governing bodies, statutory laws are not meant to be enforced by the executive branch like regulatory laws. They are designed to be general, codified laws which courts or regulatory bodies may then apply to specific situations. In Kansas these statutory laws apply to everything from the certification of public accountants or providing consumer credit scores to elections and taxation.

Kansas Congressional Resources

Kansas Legislature Educational Resources

Additional Kansas Legislative Resources

 


A  view of the Capitol Building in Topeka, Kansas.

(Photo by Nikopoley. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)