|Houses|| Senate |
House of Representatives
Senate Vice President
Speaker of the House
Speaker Pro Tem
|Seats||165 voting members|
Senate political groups
House political groups
Length of term
| Senate: 4 years|
House: 2 years
| Kansas State Capitol |
The Kansas Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Kansas. It is a bicameral assembly, composed of the lower Kansas House of Representatives, with 125 state representatives, and the upper Kansas Senate, with 40 state senators. Representatives are elected for two-year terms, senators for four-year terms.
Prior to statehood, separate pro-slavery and anti-slavery territorial legislatures emerged, drafting four separate constitutions, until one was finally ratified and Kansas became a state in 1861. Republicans hold a long-standing supermajority in both houses of the state legislature, despite a short-lived dominance by the Populist Party. The state legislature approved one of the first child labor laws in the nation.
Composed of 165 state lawmakers, the state legislature meets at the Kansas State Capitol in Topeka once a year in regular session. Additional special sessions can be called by the Governor.
The Kansas Territory was created out of the Kansas–Nebraska Act in 1854.In several of the provisions of the act, the law allowed the settlers of the newly created territory to determine, by vote, whether Kansas, once statehood was achieved, would be entered as either a free or a slave state. The act created a rush of both abolitionist Northern and pro-slavery Southern immigrants to the territory, hoping that strength through numbers would place Kansas in their camp. Animosities between the newly arrived sides quickly turned into open violence and guerrilla warfare, giving name to this period known as Bleeding Kansas.
During Kansas' first elections for a territorial government on March 30, 1855, nearly 5,000 Missouri men, led by United States Senator David Rice Atchison and other prominent pro-slavery Missourians, entered the territory, took over the polling places, and elected pro-slavery candidates.The elections resulted in 13 pro-slavery members of the upper house of the territorial legislature and one free-state member, who resigned. The lower house ended up with 25 pro-slavery members and one free-state member. Free-Staters immediately cried foul, naming the new Kansas Territorial Legislature the Bogus Legislature. After meeting for one week in Pawnee at the direction of Territorial Governor Andrew Reeder, the thirty-eight pro-slavery legislators reconvened at the Shawnee Manual Labor School between July 16 and August 30, 1855, and began crafting over a thousand pages of laws aimed at making Kansas a slave state.
Free-Staters convened their own unauthorized shadow legislature and territorial government in Topeka, crafting their own Topeka Constitution in late 1855. While the document was debated and submitted to a vote in the territory, it was never accepted by Congress.The pro-slavery territorial legislature's response to the Free-Staters and growing violence was the Lecompton Constitution in 1857. Due to an electoral boycott by abolitionist groups and the questions regarding the validity of the legislature itself, it never officially became law.
While the Lecompton Constitution was debated, new elections for the territorial legislature in 1857 gave the Free-Staters a majority government, caused in part by a boycott by pro-slavery groups. With this new mandate, the legislature convened to write the Leavenworth Constitution, a radically progressive document for the Victorian era in its wording of rights for women and African-Americans. The constitution was adopted in 1858, though it too suffered the same fate as previous documents when Congress refused to ratify it.
Following the Leavenworth Constitution's defeat, the territorial legislature again crafted a new document the following year, dubbed the Wyandotte Constitution. A compromise of sorts, it outlawed slavery in the territory, while removing progressive sections on Native Americans, women, and blacks. The territorial legislature passed the document, and submitted it to public referendum. It was ratified by the Kansas electorate on October 4, 1859.
Southern senators blocked the admission of Kansas as a free state, which would have added to the number of free state senators. When they withdrew after seven states seceded, in January of 1861, Kansas's admission as a free state, effective January 29, was approved within hours. On February 8, the Confederate States of America was formed.
The first Kansas impeachments occurred in 1862, brought about in part by United States Republican Party infighting in the state.
The election of state officers under the Wyandotte Constitution took place in December 1859, but because of the delay in approving Kansas's statehood, they did not their positions until February 1861.The lapse of time created a constitutional question as to the expiration of the two-year terms for which Governor Charles L. Robinson and the chief administrative officers were elected, with Robinson's opponents calling for a November 1861 election. Robinson refused to permit the canvassing of votes for the offices in the 1861 election and his position was upheld by the Kansas Supreme Court.
The state legislature brought impeachment trials against the governor, Kansas Secretary of State J. W. Robinson and State Auditor George S. Hillyer, over what they believed to be the unlawful sale of state bonds to help raise Union troops.They were convicted of selling state bonds in direct violation of the laws of the state, but found innocent of conspiracy and other articles of impeachment. Only three state senators voted to impeach the governor, who was less directly involved in the sale of the bonds.
In 1867, a constitutional amendment was sent to voters to allow women to vote, but failed.
State offices began to move from the Old Constitutional Hall to the east wing of the Kansas State Capitol in 1869, which was still undergoing construction.The state legislature first met there in 1870, though the east wing was not completed until 1873. Work would continue on the building until March 24, 1903.
On February 19, 1881, Kansas became the first state to amend its constitution to prohibit all alcoholic beverages.This action was spawned by the temperance movement, and was enforced by the ax-toting Carrie A. Nation beginning in 1888. After 1890, prohibition was joined with progressivism to create a reform movement. Kansas did not repeal prohibition until 1948, and even then it continued to prohibit public bars until 1987.
The Populist Party was a significant third party movement in Kansas during the 1890s and peaked in the fall elections of 1892, when the ticket won the governor's office, four congressional seats, and control of the Kansas Senate.Populists and Republicans both claimed control of the Kansas House of Representatives, with the Populists accusing the Republican Party of election fraud. The dispute at led to separate Populist-led and Republican-led Houses in 1893 that at first shared the chamber, but later met in separate locations in the Kansas State Capitol after the Republican-led House took control of the chamber on February 15, 1893. The Kansas Supreme Court eventually sided with the Republicans and the Populist-led House disbanded.
The state legislature was a leader in child labor reform, enacting a law in 1905 to restrict children under 14 from working in factories, meatpacking houses, or mines.
Kansas was a center of the Progressive Movement, with support from the middle classes, editors such as William Allen White of the Emporia Gazette, and the prohibitionists.With the help of progressive state legislators, women gained the right to vote through a constitutional amendment approved by Kansans on November 5, 1912.
Between 1922 and 1927, there were several legal battles between Kansas and the Ku Klux Klan, resulting in their expulsion from the state.
The Kansas Legislature adopted the flag of Kansas in 1927.
Since 1966 the legislature holds annual general sessions. Previously, the session in odd-numbered years was 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.
The Kansas Legislature is composed of 165 part-time legislators, meeting normally once a year. Meetings begin in January and usually will last for a period of 90 days. The Governor of Kansas retains the power to call a special legislative session if needed.
A proposed law is introduced in the state legislature as a bill. There are seven basic steps to the life of a bill: the introduction, standing committee action, a vote by the Committee of the Whole, floor passage, action by the second house, action by the governor and publication of the law.
When a bill is introduced its title is read, it is printed and distributed to members of the house of origin, and it is referred to a standing committee.Standing committee chairs decide whether or not to hear a bill and members of the committee can submit amendments to the bill. After consideration and discussion, the committee votes on whether or not to send a committee report to the Committee of the Whole. While under consideration by the Committee of the Whole, amendments can be submitted by state legislators in the house of origin. The final action in the house of origin is a vote by the full membership.
Bills go through an identical process in the opposite house of the state legislature.After passage by both houses, a bill is submitted to the governor, who either signs it into law or vetos it. If vetoed, the bill only becomes law if both houses of the legislature vote to override the veto with a two-thirds majority of their membership.
The North Carolina General Assembly is the bicameral legislature of the State government of North Carolina. The legislature consists of two chambers: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The General Assembly meets in the North Carolina Legislative Building in Raleigh, North Carolina, United States.
The Florida Legislature is the legislature of the U.S. State of Florida. It is organized as a bicameral body composed of an upper chamber, the Senate, and a lower chamber, the House of Representatives. Article III, Section 1 of the Florida Constitution, adopted in 1968, defines the role of the legislature and how it is to be constituted. The legislature is composed of 160 state legislators. The primary purpose of the legislature is to enact new laws and amend or repeal existing laws. It meets in the Florida State Capitol building in Tallahassee.
Bleeding Kansas, Bloody Kansas, or the Border War was a series of violent civil confrontations in Kansas Territory, and to a lesser extent in western Missouri, between 1854 and 1859 which emerged from a political and ideological debate over the legality of slavery in the proposed state of Kansas. The conflict was characterized by years of electoral fraud, raids, assaults, and murders carried out in the Kansas Territory and neighboring Missouri by pro-slavery "Border Ruffians" and anti-slavery "Free-Staters". About 200 people were killed during the violence. It has been called a Tragic Prelude, an overture, to the American Civil War which immediately followed it.
The Territory of Kansas was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 30, 1854, until January 29, 1861, when the eastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the free state of Kansas.
The Corwin Amendment is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution that would shield "domestic institutions" of the states from the federal constitutional amendment process and from abolition or interference by Congress. Although the Corwin Amendment does not explicitly use the word slavery, it is designed specifically to protect slavery from federal power. Congress proposed the Corwin Amendment on March 2, 1861, shortly before the outbreak of the American Civil War. It has not been ratified by the requisite number of states.
The Florida House of Representatives is the lower house of the Florida Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Florida, the Florida Senate being the upper house. Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution of Florida, adopted in 1968, defines the role of the Legislature and how it is to be constituted. The House is composed of 120 members, each elected from a single-member district with a population of approximately 157,000 residents. Legislative districts are drawn on the basis of population figures, provided by the federal decennial census. Representatives' terms begin immediately upon their election. As of 2020, Republicans hold the majority in the State House with 78 seats; Democrats are in the minority with 42 seats.
The Maryland Senate, sometimes referred to as the Maryland State Senate, is the upper house of the General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Maryland. Composed of 47 senators elected from an equal number of constituent single-member districts, the Senate is responsible, along with the Maryland House of Delegates, for passage of laws in Maryland, and for confirming executive appointments made by the Governor of Maryland.
The Topeka Constitutional Convention met from October 23 to Nov 11, 1855 in Topeka, Kansas Territory, in a building afterwards called Constitution Hall. It drafted the Topeka Constitution, which banned slavery in Kansas. The convention was organized by Free-Staters to counter the pro-slavery Territorial legislature elected March 5, 1855, in polling tainted significantly by electoral fraud and the intimidation of Free State voters.
The Florida Senate is the upper house of the Florida Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Florida, the Florida House of Representatives being the lower house. Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution of Florida, adopted in 1968, defines the role of the Legislature and how it is to be constituted. The Senate is composed of 40 members, each elected from a single-member district with a population of approximately 470,000 residents. Legislative districts are drawn on the basis of population figures, provided by the federal decennial census. Senators' terms begin immediately, upon their election. The Senate Chamber is located in the State Capitol building.
The government of Alabama is organized under the provisions of the 1901 Constitution of Alabama, the lengthiest constitution of any political entity in the world. Like other states within the United States, Alabama's government is divided into executive, judicial, and legislative branches.
The Alabama Legislature is the legislative branch of the state government of Alabama. It is a bicameral body composed of the House of Representatives and Senate. It is one of the few state legislatures in which members of both chambers serve four-year terms and in which all are elected in the same cycle. The most recent election was on November 6, 2018. The new legislature assumes office immediately following the certification of the election results by the Alabama Secretary of State which occurs within a few days following the election.
The Legislature of the State of Oklahoma is the state legislative branch of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The Oklahoma House of Representatives and Oklahoma Senate are the two houses that make up the bicameral state legislature. There are 101 state representatives, each serving a two-year term, and 48 state senators, who serve four-year terms that are staggered so only half of the Oklahoma Senate districts are eligible in each election cycle. Legislators are elected directly by the people from single member districts of equal population. The Oklahoma Legislature meets annually in the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City.
The Utah State Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Utah. It is a bicameral body, comprising the Utah House of Representatives, with 75 state representatives, and the Utah Senate, with 29 state senators. There are no term limits for either chamber.
The Oklahoma House of Representatives is the lower house of the legislature of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Its members introduce and vote on bills and resolutions, provide legislative oversight for state agencies, and help to craft the state's budget. The upper house of the Oklahoma Legislature is the Oklahoma Senate.
The Kansas House of Representatives is the lower house of the legislature of the U.S. state of Kansas. Composed of 125 state representatives from districts with roughly equal populations of at least 19,000, its members are responsible for crafting and voting on legislation, helping to create a state budget, and legislative oversight over state agencies.
The Kansas Senate is the upper house of the Kansas Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. State of Kansas. It is composed of 40 senators representing an equal number of districts, each with a population of at least 60,000 inhabitants. Members of the Senate are elected to a four-year term. There is no limit to the number of terms that a senator may serve. The Kansas Senate meets at the Kansas State Capitol in Topeka.
The Constitution of the State of Colorado is the foundation of the laws and government of the U.S. state of Colorado. The current, and only, Colorado State Constitution was drafted on March 14, 1876; approved by Colorado voters on July 1, 1876; and took effect upon the statehood of Colorado on August 1, 1876. From 1876 through 2007, the Colorado Constitution was amended 152 times. The Constitution of Colorado provides and derives its authority from the sovereignty of the people and is the foremost source of state law. In addition to providing for voting, the people of Colorado have reserved initiative of laws and referendum of laws enacted by the legislature to themselves and provided for recall of office holders.
The following table indicates the party of elected officials in the U.S. state of Minnesota:
The Governor of Colorado is the chief executive of the U.S. state of Colorado. The governor is the head of the executive branch of Colorado's state government and is charged with enforcing state laws. The governor has the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Colorado General Assembly, to convene the legislature, and to grant pardons, except in cases of treason or impeachment. The governor is also the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces.
Under U.S. law, a state requires a constitution. A main order of business for Territorial Kansas was the creation of a constitution, under which Kansas would become a state. Whether it would be a slave state or a free state, allowing or prohibiting slavery, was a national issue, because it would affect voting in the polarized U.S. Senate. Because of tensions over slavery, four quite different constitutions of Kansas were drafted.