Kansas House of Representatives

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 13:57, 11 February 2014 by Joel Williams (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
Kansas House of Representatives

Seal of Kansas.svg.png
General Information
Type:   Lower house
Term limits:   None
2015 session start:   January 13, 2014
Website:   Official House Page
House Speaker:  Ray Merrick, (R)
Majority Leader:   Jene Vickrey, (R)
Minority Leader:   Paul Davis, (D)
Members:  125
   Vacant (1)
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.
The Kansas House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the Kansas Legislature. It has a total of 125 members and meets in the state capitol in Topeka. Each member represents an average of 22,825 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented approximately 21,507 residents. [2]

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.[3].

As of May 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 will be in session from January 13 through May 30.

Major issues

Major issues during the 2014 legislative session include school funding, changing the state's court nomination system and medicaid expansion.[4]


See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 14 through June 20.

Major issues

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.[5]

Drug testing for lawmakers
Legislation introduced in the state house and state senate would bring punitive measures against drug users receiving government benefits if there is "reasonable suspicious" drug use exists. The measures would apply to both welfare recipients and Kansas lawmakers, although the legislation is unclear as to what would happen if a legislator tested positive for narcotics.[6]


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.”[7]

Major issues

Alongside the budget, legislators considered reforming the school financing formula and expanding Medicaid's managed care system.[8]


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

See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

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.[9]



See also: Kansas House of Representatives elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Kansas House of Representatives took place in 2014. A primary election was held on August 5, 2014, and a general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was June 2, 2014.


See also: Kansas House of Representatives elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Kansas House of Representatives were held in Kansas on November 6, 2012. All 125 seats were up for election.

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.


See also: Kansas House of Representatives elections, 2010

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: [10]


See also: Kansas House of Representatives elections, 2008

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:[11]


See also: Kansas House of Representatives elections, 2006

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:[12]


See also: Kansas House of Representatives elections, 2004

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:[13]


See also: Kansas House of Representatives elections, 2002

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:[14]


See also: Kansas House of Representatives elections, 2000

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:[15]


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."


See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures
How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures
NevadaMassachusettsColoradoNew MexicoWyomingArizonaMontanaCaliforniaOregonWashingtonIdahoTexasOklahomaKansasNebraskaSouth DakotaNorth DakotaMinnesotaIowaMissouriArkansasLouisianaMississippiAlabamaGeorgiaFloridaSouth CarolinaIllinoisWisconsinTennesseeNorth CarolinaIndianaOhioKentuckyPennsylvaniaNew JerseyNew YorkVermontVermontNew HampshireMaineWest VirginiaVirginiaMarylandMarylandConnecticutConnecticutDelawareDelawareRhode IslandRhode IslandMassachusettsNew HampshireMichiganMichiganAlaskaVacancy fulfillment map.png

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.[16]

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.[17]


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.

2010 census

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.[18]

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.


Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state houses
Party As of May 2015
     Democratic Party 28
     Republican Party 97
Total 125

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Kansas State House of Representatives from 1992-2013.
Partisan composition of the Kansas State House.PNG


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.[19][20]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, Kansas House of Representatives
Office Representative Party
State Speaker of the House Ray Merrick Ends.png Republican
State House Speaker Pro Tempore Peggy Mast Ends.png Republican
State House Majority Leader Jene Vickrey Ends.png Republican
State House Assistant Majority Leader J. David Crum Ends.png Republican
State House Minority Leader Paul Davis Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Assistant Minority Leader Tom Burroughs Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Minority Whip Julie Menghini Electiondot.png 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.[21]


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.[22]

When sworn in

See also: When state legislators assume office after a general election

Kansas legislators assume office the second Monday of January after their election.

Current members

Current members, Kansas House of Representatives
District Representative Party Assumed office
1 Michael Houser Ends.png Republican 2013
2 Adam Lusker Electiondot.png Democratic 2014
3 Julie Menghini Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
4 Marty Read Ends.png Republican 2013
5 Kevin Jones Ends.png Republican 2013
6 Jene Vickrey Ends.png Republican 1993
7 Richard Proehl Ends.png Republican 2005
8 Craig McPherson Ends.png Republican 2013
9 Kent Thompson Ends.png Republican 2013
10 John Wilson Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
11 Jim Kelly Ends.png Republican 2011
12 Virgil Peck, Jr. Ends.png Republican 2005
13 Larry Paul Hibbard Ends.png Republican 2013
14 Keith Esau Ends.png Republican 2013
15 Erin Davis Ends.png Republican 2014
16 Amanda Grosserode Ends.png Republican 2011
17 Brett Hildabrand Ends.png Republican 2013
18 John Rubin Ends.png Republican 2011
19 Stephanie Clayton Ends.png Republican 2013
20 Rob Bruchman Ends.png Republican 2011
21 Barbara Bollier Ends.png Republican 2010
22 Nancy Lusk Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
23 Kelly Meigs Ends.png Republican 2011
24 Emily Perry Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
25 Melissa Rooker Ends.png Republican 2013
26 Larry Campbell Ends.png Republican 2012
27 Ray Merrick Ends.png Republican 2011
28 Jerry Lunn Ends.png Republican 2013
29 James Todd Ends.png Republican 2013
30 Lance Kinzer Ends.png Republican 2004
31 Louis Ruiz Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
32 Michael Peterson Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
33 Tom Burroughs Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
34 Valdenia Winn Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
35 Broderick Henderson Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
36 Kathy Wolfe Moore Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
37 Stan Frownfelter Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
38 Willie Dove Ends.png Republican 2013
39 Charles Macheers Ends.png Republican 2013
40 John Bradford Ends.png Republican 2013
41 Melanie Meier Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
42 Connie O'Brien Ends.png Republican 2009
43 Bill Sutton Ends.png Republican 2013
44 Barbara Ballard Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
45 Thomas Sloan Ends.png Republican 1995
46 Paul Davis Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
47 Ramon Gonzalez Ends.png Republican 2011
48 Marvin Kleeb Ends.png Republican 2009
49 Scott Schwab Ends.png Republican 2009
50 Joshua Powell Ends.png Republican 2013
51 Ron Highland Ends.png Republican 2013
52 Shanti Gandhi Ends.png Republican 2013
53 Annie Tietze Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
54 Ken Corbet Ends.png Republican 2013
55 Annie Kuether Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
56 Virgil Weigel Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
57 John Alcala Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
58 Harold Lane Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
59 Blaine Finch Ends.png Republican 2013
60 Don Hill Ends.png Republican 2003
61 Richard Carlson Ends.png Republican 2005
62 Randy Garber Ends.png Republican 2011
63 Jerry Henry Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
64 Vern Swanson Ends.png Republican 2007
65 Allan Rothlisberg Ends.png Republican 2013
66 Sydney Carlin Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
67 Tom Phillips Ends.png Republican 2012
68 Tom Moxley Ends.png Republican 2007
69 J.R. Claeys Ends.png Republican 2013
70 John E. Barker Ends.png Republican 2013
71 Diana Dierks Ends.png Republican 2013
72 Marc Rhoades Ends.png Republican 2007
73 Vacant
74 Don Schroeder Ends.png Republican 2007
75 Will Carpenter Ends.png Republican 2013
76 Peggy Mast Ends.png Republican 1997
77 J. David Crum Ends.png Republican 2007
78 Ron Ryckman Ends.png Republican 2013
79 Ed Trimmer Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
80 Kasha Kelley Ends.png Republican 2005
81 Jim Howell Ends.png Republican 2011
82 Peter DeGraaf Ends.png Republican 2008
83 Carolyn Bridges Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
84 Gail Finney Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
85 Steven Brunk Ends.png Republican 2003
86 Jim Ward Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
87 Mark Kahrs Ends.png Republican 2013
88 Patricia M. Sloop Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
89 Roderick A. Houston Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
90 Steve Huebert Ends.png Republican 2001
91 Gene Suellentrop Ends.png Republican 2009
92 John Carmichael Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
93 Joe Edwards Ends.png Republican 2013
94 Mario Goico Ends.png Republican 2003
95 Tom Sawyer Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
96 Brandon Whipple Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
97 Leslie Osterman Ends.png Republican 2011
98 Steven Anthimides Ends.png Republican 2014
99 Dennis Hedke Ends.png Republican 2011
100 Daniel Hawkins Ends.png Republican 2013
101 Joe Seiwert Ends.png Republican 2009
102 Janice Pauls Electiondot.png Democratic 1991
103 Ponka-We Victors Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
104 Steven R. Becker Ends.png Republican 2013
105 Mark E. Hutton Ends.png Republican 2013
106 Sharon Schwartz Ends.png Republican 1997
107 Susan L. Concannon Ends.png Republican 2013
108 Steven C. Johnson Ends.png Republican 2011
109 Troy L. Waymaster Ends.png Republican 2013
110 Travis Couture-Lovelady Ends.png Republican 2013
111 Sue E. Boldra Ends.png Republican 2013
112 John Edmonds Ends.png Republican 2013
113 Marshall Christmann Ends.png Republican 2013
114 Jack Thimesch Ends.png Republican 2013
115 Ronald Ryckman Ends.png Republican 2011
116 Kyle Hoffman Ends.png Republican 2011
117 John L. Ewy Ends.png Republican 2013
118 Don Hineman Ends.png Republican 2009
119 Bud Estes Ends.png Republican 2013
120 Ward Cassidy Ends.png Republican 2011
121 Mike Kiegerl Ends.png Republican 2013
122 Russ Jennings Ends.png Republican 2013
123 John Doll Ends.png Republican 2013
124 J. Stephen Alford Ends.png Republican 2011
125 Reid Petty Ends.png Republican 2013

Standing committees

Legislation that comes before Kansas state representatives is first considered in 1 of the 29 standing committees of the Kansas House.


Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Kansas
Partisan breakdown of the Kansas legislature from 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.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Kansas, the Kansas State Senate and the Kansas House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Kansas state government(1992-2013).PNG

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
Chart displaying the partisanship of Kansas government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

External links


  1. Population in 2010 of the American states, accessed November 22, 2013
  2. Population in 2000 of the American states, Accessed November 27, 2013
  3. "Kansas Legislative Research Manual Kansas Legislative Procedures, March 12, 2009
  4. ljworld.com, "Issues that will dominate the 2014 legislative session," January 12, 2014
  5. Lawrence Journal World, "Key issues expected during the 2013 legislative session," January 13, 2013
  6. WatchDog.org "Dopey law: KS lawmakers who use drugs could get special treatment," Accessed December 24, 2013
  7. Kansas City Star, "Republican infighting forces Kansas Legislature to extend session," May 12, 2012
  8. Topeka Capital Journal, "Legislative session to start Monday," January 8, 2012
  9. Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
  10. Follow the Money: "Kansas House 2010 Campaign Contributions"
  11. Follow the Money, "Kansas 2008 Candidates," Accessed August 23, 2013
  12. Follow the Money, "Kansas 2006 Candidates," Accessed August 23, 2013
  13. Follow the Money, "Kansas 2004 Candidates," Accessed August 23, 2013
  14. Follow the Money, "Kansas 2002 Candidates," Accessed August 23, 2013
  15. Follow the Money, "Kansas 2000 Candidates," Accessed August 23, 2013
  16. Kansas Legislature "Kansas Statutes"(Referenced Statute 25-3902 (a), Kansas Statutes)
  17. Kansas Legislature "Kansas Statutes"(Referenced Statute 25-3902 (g), (e), Kansas Statutes)
  18. 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.
  19. Rules of the Kansas House of Representatives 2009-2010 - Article 33: Member Officers
  20. Kansas House Leadership
  21. NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
  22. USA Today, "State lawmakers pump up pensions in ways you can't," September 23, 2011