Kansas State Senate
|Kansas State Senate|
|2013 session start:||January 14, 2013|
|Website:||Official Senate Page|
|Senate President:||Susan Wagle, (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Terry Bruce, (R)|
|Minority leader:||Anthony Hensley, (D)|
| Democratic Party (8) |
Republican Party (32)
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Art 2, Kansas Constitution|
|Salary:||$88.66/day + $6,775/year expenses|
|Last Election:||November 6, 2012 (40 seats)|
|Next election:||November 8, 2016 (40 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Kansas Legislature has control|
Kansas state senators earn $84.80 for service and $99 for expenses each day that they work. They receive an additional $6,775 to cover expenses incurred between sessions, and they receive reimbursement for mileage. Senators that attend legislative business authorized by the Legislative Coordinating Council between sessions receive compensation, subsistence and mileage (assuming 12 days of meetings). Certain members of the Senate receive additional compensation. The President of the Senate receives an additional $13,428 each year. The Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate each receive an additional $12,114. The Vice President of the Senate and the Assistant Majority and Minority Leaders each receive an additional $6,854. The chairpersons of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means each receive an additional $10,799. 
As of December 2013, Kansas is one of 24 Republican state government trifectas.
Article 2 of the Kansas Constitution establishes when the Kansas State Legislature, of which the Senate is a part, is to be in session. Section 8 of Article 2 states that the Legislature is to convene on the second Monday of January of each year. Section 8 also limits the length of regular sessions in even-numbered years to ninety calendar days, but it allows these sessions to be extended by a two-thirds affirmative vote of both houses. In 2010, this kind of extension occurred, moving the session's adjournment date from March 30th to May 28th.
- See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the Legislature is projected to be in session from January 13 through May 30.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 14 through June 20.
Major issues during the 2013 legislative session included school funding, a settlement between tobacco companies and the state, mental health funding, KanCare, illegal immigration, pension system changes, shifting taxes to the local level, and liquor sales.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the Senate was scheduled to be in session from January 9 through May 14. However, due to infighting among Republicans, the session had to be extended through the 20th. Major issues which remained unresolved included education funding, state employee pension reform, redistricting and the budget. Gov. Sam Brownback (R) stated, “I think it’s reasonable for people to say they should have gotten things done in 90 days. My hope is that they wrap it up here pretty soon.”
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the Senate was in session from January 10-June 1, 2011.
In the 2011 session, the legislature allowed "expensing," a way for businesses to receive larger tax deductions for start-up costs such as new equipment and software. 
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
In 2010, the Senate's regular session was scheduled to last from January 11th to March 30th. However, the session was extended, and it did not adjourn until May 28th.
Ethics and transparency
Open States Transparency
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Kansas was given a grade of A in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data is to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A -- Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
- See also: Kansas State Senate elections, 2012
Elections for the office of Kansas State Senate were held in Kansas on November 6, 2012. A total of 40 seats were up for election. State senators serve four-year terms and all senate seats are up for re-election every four years. The signature filing deadline was June 11, 2012. The date was originally set for June 1, but a delay in the redistricting process caused the state to push back the filing deadline..
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Kansas State Senate|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 1||Dennis Pyle||1.3%||30,360||Steve Lukert|
|District 25||Michael O'Donnell||1.3%||19,996||Tim Snow|
|District 22||Tom Hawk||1.5%||25,320||Bob Reader|
|District 5||Steve Fitzgerald||3.1%||24,843||Kelly Kultala|
|District 18||Laura Kelly||3.4%||28,646||Dick Barta|
|District 28||Mike Petersen||5.4%||18,705||Keith Humphrey|
|District 7||Kay Wolf||6.2%||39,072||Kyle B. Russell|
|District 21||Greg Smith||6.3%||32,968||Juanita Roy|
|District 3||Tom Holland||6.4%||31,336||Anthony Brown|
|District 8||Jim Denning||8.6%||35,882||Lisa Johnston|
There were no elections held for the offices of Kansas State Senate in 2010.
- See also: Kansas State Senate elections, 2008
Elections for the office of Kansas State Senate consisted of a primary election on August 5, 2008, and a general election on November 4, 2008.
During the 2008 election, the total contributions to Senate candidates was $5,535,999. The top 10 contributors were:
|2008 Donors, Kansas State Senate|
|Kansas Democratic Party||$325,990|
|Kansas Republican Senatorial Cmte||$243,100|
|Kansas Contractors Association||$64,400|
|Kansas Association Of Realtors||$62,200|
|Kansas National Education Association||$57,750|
|Greater Kansas City Chamber Of Commerce||$54,750|
|Kansas Chamber Of Commerce & Industry||$50,118|
|Gilstrap, Mark S||$50,000|
There were no elections held for the offices of Kansas State Senate in 2006.
- See also: Kansas State Senate elections, 2004
Elections for the office of Kansas State Senate consisted of a primary election on August 3, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004.
During the 2004 election, the total contributions to Senate candidates was $4,776,522. The top 10 contributors were:
|2004 Donors, Kansas State Senate|
|Kansas Republican Senatorial Cmte||$178,104|
|Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation||$52,350|
|Kansas Contractors Association||$50,750|
|Wilson, Dennis M||$46,125|
|Kansas Association Of Realtors||$45,200|
|Kansas National Education Association||$43,300|
|Kansas Livestock Association||$38,550|
|Gilstrap, Joanne M||$35,000|
There were no elections held for the offices of Kansas State Senate in 2002.
- See also: Kansas State Senate elections, 2000
Elections for the office of Kansas State Senate consisted of a primary election on August 1, 2000, and a general election on November 7, 2000.
During the 2000 election, the total contributions to Senate candidates was $3,605,370. The top 10 contributors were:
|2000 Donors, Kansas State Senate|
|Kansas Republican Senatorial Cmte||$171,936|
|Kansas Republican Party||$146,577|
|Kansas Contractors Association||$70,250|
|Senate Democratic Cmte Of Kansas||$59,455|
|Kansas National Education Association||$56,049|
|Kansas Optometric Association||$36,750|
|Kansas Trial Lawyers Association||$35,500|
|Kansas Bankers Association||$35,000|
|Kansas Livestock Association||$30,600|
Section 4 of Article 2 of the Kansas Constitution states, "During the time that any person is a candidate for nomination or election to the legislature and during the term of each legislator, such candidate or legislator shall be and remain a qualified elector who resides in his or her district."
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
The Governor is responsible for filling all vacancies in the Senate.
The political party committee that last held the vacant seat must call for a convention within 21 days of the vacancy. The convention is designed to select the Governor's appointee and involves all the committeemen and committeewomen that represent the vacant Senate district.
The committeemen and committeewomen present for voting must approve a replacement on a simple majority vote. Once the vote has been conducted, the party committee must send the paperwork certifying the selection to the Governor within 24 hours or the next business day. The Governor has seven days after receiving the paperwork to act on the appointment.
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of December 2013|
- See also: Redistricting in Kansas
The Kansas Legislature handles redistricting. Both chambers have a Reapportionment Committee that presenst plans to the chamber at large. Gubernatorial veto is not present, but all plans must be reviewed by the Kansas Supreme Court. Kansas uses adjusted census figures to account for non-residents in school or the military.
Kansas received its local census data on March 3, 2012. The state grew by 6.1 percent to over 2.58 million, with growth concentrated in the northeast corner of the state and the remainder largely showing slight declines. (The adjusted total was about 14,000 less than the federal figure.) Wichita grew by 11.1 percent, Overland Park grew by 16.3 percent, Kansas City decreased by 0.7 percent, Topeka grew by 4.2 percent, and Olathe grew by 35.4 percent.
The Legislature attempted redistricting in its 2012 session. Against custom, which had the chambers passing their own maps, the Senate passed revisions to a new House map, and the House passed a map for the Senate; neither chamber was amenable to the other's actions. On May 20, the Legislature adjourned amid deadlock, meaning the courts would have to decide the new boundaries.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the Kansas legislature are paid $88.50/day. Additionally, legislators receive $118/day per diem tied to the federal rate.
As of 2011, when pensions are calculated for Kansas legislators, their normal annual salary is inflated by nearly $78,000. This is composed of $32,982, which comes from multiplying their daily salary by 372 (the number of days they would work if in session every day and if every month had 31 days), $45,756 from adding in their daily per diem (also based on 372 days), and $7,083 from expense payments. According to Sen. Steve Morris, this is intended as compensation because of low legislative salaries which are seen as difficult to raise.
When sworn in
Kansas legislators assume office the second Monday of January after their election.
Standing Senate Committees
The Kansas Senate has eighteen (16) standing committees:
- Assessment and Taxation
- Confirmation Oversight
- Ethics, Elections and Local Government
- Federal and State Affairs
- Financial Institutions and Insurance
- Interstate Cooperation
- Natural Resources
- Organization, Calendar and Rules
- Public Health and Welfare
- Ways and Means
Partisan balance 1992-2013
Throughout every year from 1992-2013, the Republican Party was the majority in the Kansas State Senate. The Kansas State Senate is one of 13 state senates that was Republican for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. During the final three years of the study, Kansas was under Republican trifectas.
Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
SQLI and partisanship
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Kansas state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. Kansas has never had a Democratic trifecta, while it has had a Republican trifecta in two separate periods of the study (between 1995 and 2003, and again beginning in 2011). The state cracked the top-10 in the SQLI ranking once in 1992. Kansas’s most precipitous drop in the ranking occurred under divided government between 1993 and 1994, when the state fell nine spots. The state’s largest gain in the SQLI ranking occurred between 2007 and 2008, also under divided government. Kansas reached its lowest point in 1999 (29th) under divided government.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: N/A
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 20.90
- SQLI average with divided government: 19.09
- Judgepedia: Kansas Senate says "no" to Court of Appeals selection reform, February 24, 2012
- Website of the Kansas senate
- List of Kansas state senators, 2009
- 2009 schedule of state senate committee meetings
- Map of Kansas senate districts
- Websiteforthe Kansas Secretary of State
- ↑ Population in 2010 of the American states, accessed November 22, 2013
- ↑ Population in 2000 of the American states, Accessed November 27, 2013
- ↑ Kansas Secretary of State
- ↑ Lawrence Journal World, "Key issues expected during the 2013 legislative session," January 13, 2013
- ↑ Kansas City Star, "Republican infighting forces Kansas Legislature to extend session," May 12, 2012
- ↑ Stateline.org, States balance budgets with cuts, not taxes, June 15, 2011
- ↑ Sunlight Foundation Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information, accessed June 16, 2013
- ↑ [http://www.fec.gov/pubrec/fe2012/2012pdates.pdf fec.gov - 2012 Primary Dates and Candidate Filing Deadlines
- ↑ Follow the Money, "Kansas 2008 Candidates," Accessed August 23, 2013
- ↑ Follow the Money, "Kansas 2004 Candidates," Accessed August 23, 2013
- ↑ Follow the Money, "Kansas 2000 Candidates," Accessed August 23, 2013
- ↑ Kansas Legislature "Kansas Statutes"(Referenced Statute 25-3902 (a), Kansas Statutes)
- ↑ Kansas Legislature "Kansas Statutes"(Referenced Statute 25-3902 (g), (e), Kansas Statutes)
- ↑ 2009-2012 Rules of the Kansas Senate
- ↑ Kansas State Senate Leadership
- ↑ U.S. Census Bureau, "U.S. Census Bureau Delivers Kansas' 2010 Census Population Totals, Including First Look at Race and Hispanic Origin Data for Legislative Redistricting," March 3, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
- ↑ NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- ↑ USA Today, "State lawmakers pump up pensions in ways you can't," September 23, 2011
State of Kansas
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