Kansas House of Representatives
|Kansas House of Representatives|
|2015 session start:||January 14, 2013|
|Website:||Official House Page|
|House Speaker:||Ray Merrick, (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Jene Vickrey, (R)|
|Minority Leader:||Paul Davis, (D)|
| Democratic Party (28) |
Republican Party (96)
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Art 2, Kansas Constitution|
|Salary:||$88.66/day + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 6, 2012 (125 seats)|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014 (125 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Both House and Senate appoint members to a reapportionment commission.|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Representatives
- 6 Standing committees
- 7 History
- 8 External links
- 9 References
Since 1966 the legislature has held annual general sessions. Previously, sessions in odd-numbered years were of unlimited duration while in even-numbered years the session was limited to 60 calendar days, unless two-thirds of the elected members of each house voted to extend it. A constitutional amendment adopted at the 1974 general election extended the duration of the session held in the even-numbered years to 90 calendar days, still subject to extension by a vote of two-thirds of the elected membership of each house..
As of April 2015, Kansas is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.
Article 2 of the Kansas Constitution establishes when the Kansas State Legislature, of which the House of Representatives 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 House 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.”
Alongside the budget, legislators considered reforming the school financing formula and expanding Medicaid's managed care system.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the House was in session from January 10-June 1, 2011.
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
In 2010, the House of Representatives' 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 was 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.
The signature filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was June 10, 2012.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Kansas House of Representatives|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 54||Ken Corbet||0.2%||10,767||Ann Mah|
|District 65||Melody Saxton||0.4%||4,237||Allan Rothlisberg|
|District 79||Larry Alley||0.8%||8,403||Ed Trimmer|
|District 25||Melissa Rooker||1.5%||12,949||Megan England|
|District 23||Kelly Meigs||1.9%||8,618||Dave Pack|
|District 98||Phil Hermanson||2.1%||6,090||Geraldine Flaharty|
|District 40||John Bradford||2.3%||8,060||Linda Johnson|
|District 56||Virgil Weigel||3.8%||9,617||Janet Mitchell|
|District 5||Kevin Jones||5.2%||9,318||Bill Feuerborn|
|District 21||Barbara Bollier||6.4%||12,683||Amy Bell|
Elections for the office of Kansas House of Representatives were held in Kansas on November 2, 2010. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was June 10, 2010 for partisan candidates and is August 2 by noon for independent candidates. The primary election day was on August 3, 2010.
In 2010, candidates running for the state house raised a total of $5,474,989 in campaign contributions. The top donors were: 
|2010 Donors, Kansas House of Representatives|
|Kansas Optometric Association||$94,050|
|Kansas Contractors Association||$85,800|
|Kansas Medical Society||$82,850|
|Kansas Chamber of Commerce & Industry||$68,750|
|Kansas Education Association||$68,500|
|Kansas Association of Realtors||$66,625|
|Kansas Bankers Association||$66,288|
Elections for the office of Kansas House of Representatives 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 $5,220,801. The top 10 contributors were:
|2008 Donors, Kansas House of Representatives|
|Kansas Democratic Party||$198,502|
|Kansas Contractors Association||$96,400|
|Kansas National Education Association||$70,750|
|Kansas Medical Society||$67,506|
|Kansas Optometric Association||$59,850|
|Kansas Bankers Association||$58,200|
|Kansas Association Of Realtors||$57,950|
|Kansans For Lifesaving Cures||$56,950|
|Kansas Chamber Of Commerce & Industry||$53,750|
Elections for the office of Kansas House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 1, 2006, and a general election on November 7, 2006.
During the 2006 election, the total contributions to Senate candidates was $5,076,645. The top 10 contributors were:
|2006 Donors, Kansas House of Representatives|
|Kansas Contractors Association||$97,075|
|Kansas National Education Association||$84,250|
|Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation||$49,350|
|Kansas Medical Society||$47,700|
|Kansas Association Of Realtors||$43,450|
|Kansas Optometric Association||$41,600|
|Kansas Chamber Of Commerce & Industry||$37,728|
|Kansas Bankers Association||$37,727|
|Anderson Financial Services DBA LoanMax||$37,350|
Elections for the office of Kansas House of Representatives 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 $3,971,642. The top 10 contributors were:
|2004 Donors, Kansas House of Representatives|
|Kansas Contractors Association||$97,075|
|Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation||$84,250|
|Kansas Association Of Realtors||$49,350|
|Kansas National Education Association||$47,700|
|Kansas Optometric Association||$43,450|
|Kansas Farm Bureau||$41,600|
|Kansas Bankers Association||$37,728|
|Kansas Democratic Party||$37,727|
|Kansas Health Care Association||$37,350|
|Kansas Medical Society||$36,350|
Elections for the office of Kansas House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 6, 2002, and a general election on November 5, 2002.
During the 2002 election, the total contributions to Senate candidates was $3,706,577. The top 10 contributors were:
|2002 Donors, Kansas House of Representatives|
|Kansas Democratic Party||$138,572|
|Kansas Contractors Association||$83,350|
|Kansas Association Of Realtors||$75,475|
|Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation||$56,300|
|Kansas Optometric Association||$53,450|
|Kansas National Education Association||$48,700|
|Kansas Medical Society||$43,250|
|Kansas Bankers Association||$38,025|
|Kansas Racing LLC||$37,375|
|Kansas Trial Lawyers Association||$34,775|
Elections for the office of Kansas House of Representatives 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 $2,703,984. The top 10 contributors were:
|2000 Donors, Kansas House of Representatives|
|Kansas Contractors Association||$94,300|
|Kansas National Education Association||$73,394|
|Kansas Trial Lawyers Association||$46,950|
|Kansas Optometric Association||$46,250|
|Kansas Bankers Association||$35,600|
|Kansas Dental Association||$35,500|
|Kansas Medical Society||$32,750|
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 House of Representatives.
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 legislative 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: 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: Partisan composition of state houses
|Party||As of April 2015|
The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body. In the absence of the Speaker, the Speaker Pro Tempore takes on the duties of the office. The Speaker and Speaker Pro Tempore are both elected by the members of the House. Duties of the Speaker include preserving order and decorum, and deciding all questions of order.
|Current Leadership, Kansas House of Representatives|
|State Speaker of the House||Ray Merrick||Republican|
|State House Speaker Pro Tempore||Peggy Mast||Republican|
|State House Majority Leader||Jene Vickrey||Republican|
|State House Assistant Majority Leader||J. David Crum||Republican|
|State House Minority Leader||Paul Davis||Democratic|
|State House Assistant Minority Leader||Tom Burroughs||Democratic|
|State House Minority Whip||Julie Menghini||Democratic|
- 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.
Legislation that comes before Kansas state representatives is first considered in 1 of the 29 standing committees of the Kansas House.
- Agriculture and Natural Resources
- Agriculture and Natural Resources Budget
- Calendar and Printing
- Children and Seniors
- Commerce, Labor and Economic Development
- Corrections and Juvenile Justice
- Education Budget
- Energy and Environment
- Federal and State Affairs
- Financial Institutions
- General Government Budget
- Health and Human Services
- Interstate Cooperation
- Legislative Budget
- Local Government
- Pensions and Benefits
- Rules and Journal
- Social Services Budget
- Transportation and Public Safety Budget
- Utilities and Telecommunications
- Veterans, Military and Homeland Security
- Vision 2020
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, the Democratic party was the majority in the Kansas State House of Representatives for the first year while through the last 21 years the Republican Party was the majority. The Kansas State House of Representatives is one of nine state Houses 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 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives 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.
- Official website of the Kansas House of Representatives
- Official list of the current members of the Kansas House of Representatives
- Population in 2010 of the American states
- Population in 2000 of the American states
- "Kansas Legislative Research Manual Kansas Legislative Procedures, March 12, 2009
- 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
- Topeka Capital Journal, "Legislative session to start Monday," January 8, 2012
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- Follow the Money: "Kansas House 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- Follow the Money, "Kansas 2008 Candidates," Accessed August 23, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Kansas 2006 Candidates," Accessed August 23, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Kansas 2004 Candidates," Accessed August 23, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Kansas 2002 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)
- 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.
- Rules of the Kansas House of Representatives 2009-2010 - Article 33: Member Officers
- Kansas House Leadership
- 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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